Take a great dollop of groove jazz, add some nasty funky horns and a mean pair of guitars and what you get is Lettuce. As I understand it most members of Lettuce have “main gigs” on the side, I wish this was their main gig. Funk is alive, and Lettuce is (one of its) name(s)!
As you slap Live in Tokyo in your CD player, you are first subjected to a fuzz guitar laden intro, a really short piece where the horns come in quick and make you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet, as the saying goes. The ingredients are all in place, but this is just a very short appetiser. After a little over a minute, the pièce de résistence starts for good.
Nyack is the name of the track. It starts with a long-drawn drum pattern, the kind of stuff you might hear the Dirty Dozen Brass Band do at the beginning of their shows, when the band sets up. Soon though, the whole band jumps in. It’s horn laden, but it’s not those deep growly horns that I so enjoy in brass bands. It’s a higher pitched, brighter horn section, very different but just as efficient. Guitar, horns and organ build up intensity to the first solos. The patterns repeat with each solo until you reach the middle of the 11mn track. Then it feels for a second like it’s finished, but out of the depths, the funky guitar builds it up again and then you go into guitars showtime. Nyack never really lets you breathe, and it’s just as well!
The whole concert is funky as all hell, with highlights like Flu the Coop, a fairly dark bass driven funk and The Dump, a slighly more mellow number with the horns shining really bright. This is driven music that will get your blood flowing and your legs pumping. Don’t miss out!