For the past 20 years, The New Mastersounds have spread their funky jazz and blues-infused tunes around the globe. Frontman Eddie Roberts and drummer Simon Allen formed the group while hosting a club night in Leeds, England in the late 90s. Going on to recruit Pete Shand (bass) and Bob Birch (keys), The New Mastersounds were born. The fledgling band was ready to take on the world as they grew up out of their tiny club night and into a globally recognized funk band. The New Mastersounds have gone on to support internationally renowned artists such as Karl Denson, Grace Potter and Lou Donaldson, all the while honing their blues-infused funk into what defines them today.
Throughout their storied career, the group has seen more than 24 singles, over 13 studio albums and three live albums. Despite early success with their original lineup, in 2007, Joe Tatton replaced Bob Birch on keys to give the New Mastersounds the lineup that fans crave today.
Most recently, The New Mastersounds released their latest album, Shake It, in the fall of 2019. This record is a shining example of the band's soulful ability to blend elements of funk, jazz, and a dash of disco into 11 groovy tracks. Shake It could not be a more appropriate name for this album, as it enables listeners to do just that. All four members shine equally throughout as each track takes on a multicolor soundscape all its own. The collective energy produced by The New Mastersounds is that of funk greatness.
Upon first listening to Shake It, I caught myself boogying around the room, turning the volume higher and quickly going back for another dose of “Love They Deserve” and “Kings and Queens,” which quickly became stand-out favorites. Not to be outdone by these early favorites, the album’s ninth track, “Permission To Land,” showcases Jeff Franca (of Thievery Corporation) on percussion and esteemed saxophonist Jason Mingledorff. Both musicians bring their mastery to the track as they join The New Mastersounds glittering funk sound. This latest release from The New Mastersounds lifts an already phenomenal band into the realm of funk greatness.
The New Mastersounds may very well have just become my new favorite funk band. See what the hype is all about for yourself this Sunday as they return to the Belly Up Aspen stage.