'The Shakedown' is the debut album from Tenderlonious and features a new band - the dream team of top talent he named the 22archestra, who he leads seamlessly throughout. Listeners are exposed to the full breadth of Tender's technical and compositional skills, ranging from subtly meandering jazz, to hip-hop, afrobeat, latin and exhilarating free form jazz.
'SV Disco,' a nod to the mighty Slum Village, is a chunk of sensually-contorted disco vibes that brings on full party mode instantaneously, with the slinky bass licks and pitch-bent synthesiser recalling Roy Ayres’s blissed-out funk, blended with flute flurries reminiscent of mind Max Cilla’s La Flûte des Mornes.
'Maria' showcases Ed’s roots as sample-based producer, pulling influence from around the globe to create an undulating piece of flute-led Brazilian fusion that fans of Ruby Rushton will find familiar. The eastern-inspired embellishments raise the temperature further, whilst former Yussef Kamaal member Yussef Dayes’ sizzling cymbals and shuffling snare work propel the track onwards, locking down a signature 22a groove.
Latin and African influence can be heard across many of the tracks. 'Togo' is a smokey afrobeat jam that leaves space for Tenderlonious’ flute to soar above, his playing mimicking old school styles you might catch from MF Doom or J Dilla.
'Yussef’s Groove' kicks off with driving drums, and each of the 22archestra enter steadily, fully utilising their virtuosic power, switching between low-slung bass, chic open piano solos and hazy electric piano.
'The Shakedown' exercises more restraint, with Bitches Brew style ambience providing a palpable sense of anticipation and passion, whilst still retaining that stomping, low-riding 70s swing they do so well.
The 22archestra was conceived after Tenderlonious was invited to record at Abbey Road Studios. The whole crew was rounded-up and the album was recorded during a single 8 hour session – a testament to their musicianship and ability to nail a take, which has been honed on stage.
supported by 194 fans who also own “THE SHAKEDOWN featuring The 22archestra”
I might love this even more than Black Focus. Why? There is more of a focus on that Wu Funk sound, more melodies by the rhythm master, more hip-hop flavor, a chance for Kamaal to really shine. A perfect balance between hard hitting sounds with more melodic and meditative ones. One of the few albums I wish was 24-bit quality, that is how great this is. At the top of all the 2018 "best of" lists for a reason. Much respect HW. Edward