Finally, our super fat and ultra-funky instrumental Jazz Funk album ‘The Cooker’ will be released on Tuesday, 13th of April 2013. The album features the Funkestra core ensemble enhanced by two muscular horn sections, one from the UK and one from the US, and remains firmly rooted in foot tapping groove music. Special guests include Saturday Night Live bandleader Lenny Pickett (Tower of Power), Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) and Michael B. Nelson’s Hornheads (Prince).
It’s a release brimful with super-phat grooves, bad-ass themes and fiery solos, all the good stuff that Jazz and Funk aficionados will hopefully love. Although references and influences are clearly abundant, I think we managed to put our own spin and vibe onto this music, essentially cooking up our own personalized funky stew (no references to ‘cooking’ here at all:-).
We recorded the rhythm section at the same time to stop us from potentially fiddling too much with the raw power of the Funkestra engine. Then we went on to record all the fantastic horn players from across the pond (Minneapolis), the London scene and the continent (including Tubax!) on top of this steaming foundation. Additionally we added a live string section on ‘Funky Barbarella’ and three different percussionists. What fun on every step of the way!
A big thank you as always to the core of the Funkestra – Mike (‘The Oracle’), Eran ‘(‘Mr. Soul Logic’), Taggie, Sid (‘Iron Man’) and Jim (‘Napoleon’) and our seventh honorary member Dave (from Boston) for playing their little funky socks off but also to every single musician who has contributed to the making of this album. I just love hearing all these incredible musicians from around the world to funk out to my tunes. Special thanks also to Peter Tomasso (‘maestro di musica’) who did a sterling job, well beyond the call of duty, to help me edit all the horn parts. Violinist and string arranger Pete Whitfield also delivered a killer arrangement and recording – we certainly must do it again!
Unbelievably this is our fourth record that was recorded, mixed and this time also mastered by no other than ‘Master Ears’ Rupert Christie – this guy just gets better and better (check out the sounds and you will hear for yourself). And certainly last but not least a phat thank you to Sid with whom I spend many hours talking about and writing horn arrangements for the album; also our writing collaboration on ‘Crankmaster General’ is a great result of us ‘nerding out’ on all things brass:-)
Connecting my past to the present I’m also really pleased to have recorded ‘Unsquare Blues’, written by trumpet player Christoph Wundrak on the album. I played this tune for the first time around 1988 with a Rhythm and Blues band called ‘The Booze Family’ run by my late and great friend Bernie ‘Big B’ Auer and always loved it since. ‘Big B’ passed away in January 2010 and I think he really would have loved this album.
‘The Cooker’ has brought many things together for me personally and for this I must make a special mention to my friend and music business partner in crime Thomas – he is a real cat and is always making sure I’m not straying off my funky path… Well, you’ll be the judge of this when you are going to listen to the album:-)
The musicians on ‘The Cooker’ are:
Stefan Redtenbacher (bass, bandleader)
Mike Sturgis (drums)
Eran Kendler (guitar)
Sid Gauld (trumpet)
Jim Hunt (tenor saxophone)
Rob Taggart (Fender Rhodes)
Dave Limina (Hammond B3 organ)
Eric Krasno (guitar)
Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone)
Michael B. Nelson (trombone)
Steve Strand (trumpet)
Dave Jensen (trumpet)
Kenni Holmen (tenor, piccolo and flute)
Kathy Jensen (alto and bari saxophone)
Tom Rees-Roberts (trumpet)
Trevor Mires (trombone)
Paul Booth (tenor saxophone)
Phil Todd (baritone saxophone)
Alex Reffgen (tubax)
Christoph Wundrak (flugelhorn)
Oli Savill (percussion)
Fergus Gerrand (percussion)
Gabriel Nuzzoli (percussion)
Pete Whitfield (section leader, violin and viola)
Julian Cole (violin)
Paulette Bayley (violin)
Sarah Brandwood-Spencer (violin and viola)
Nick Trygstad (cello)
Simon Turner (cello)