We Want Groove is the debut album from the collective known as Rock Candy Funk Party, an all-instrumental jazz-funk-rock outfit featuring drummer Tal Bergman, guitarists Joe Bonamassa & Ron DeJesus, bassist Mike Merritt, and keyboard player Renato Neto. The CD is being released on J&R Adventures, an indie label founded by Bonamassa and his manager Roy Weisman. Some may argue that Mr. Bonamassa is a tad bit overexposed lately, but just wait till you hear him and his cohorts tearing it up on the these groove laden, funky, jazzy, rockin' songs.
According to the press sheet, We Want Groove was greatly influenced by the Mile Davis 1982 live set We Want Miles, and after making my way through this album a few times I can totally hear that inspiration, though obviously the absence of a presence like Miles Davis and his trumpet is clearly missing (the cover art is a giveway as well). There are some SERIOUS grooves going on throughout this album, as both Bergman & Merritt are completely locked in with each other while Neto lays down some tasty Fender Rhodes and Clavinet colorings over which Bonamassa and DeJesus can let it fly with fiery solos. "Octopus-e" and "Spaztastic" open things up in fine fashion, each one a great homage to '70s fusion acts like Davis, Jeff Beck, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, and The Brecker Brothers. "Ode to Gee" really pulsates thanks to some sizzling Fender Rhodes & synths from Neto, while "We Want Groove" is a rhythmic beast, led by some thick bass lines from Merritt and Bergman's intelligent stick work. The lush "The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life" is a marvelous bit of atmospheric jazz & funk (think classic Weather Report), and "Animal/Work" is a kick ass vehicle for Bergman's solo drum skills. Despite all this, it doesn't end there, as towards the back end of the CD you get the undulating "Dope on a Rope", a seriously delicious groove laden funk rocker highlighted by some scorching back and forth soloing from Bonamassa & DeJesus.
What could have ended up as an endless chops fest has thankfully resulted in a very charming and memorable collection of instrumental tunes that remind of some of the great music from the 1970s. We Want Groove is all about the colors, all about the tones, and yes, all about the groove. Sure, there are plenty of impressive solo spots, but it comes across as a real band effort, and there's just this all around sense of 'class' that you can't help but feel from listening to this CD. Well done gentleman!
3) Ode to Gee
4) We Want Groove
5) The Best Ten Minutes of your Life
7) Dope on a Rope
8) Root Down (and Get it)
9) New York Song
Bonus DVD-The Making of We Want Groove, In the Studio Episode 1 & 2, and Official Music Video of Octopus-e