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Toph-E & The Pussycats: No Ordinary Day

Toph-E & The Pussycats are an American R&B/jazz band who have been around for about ten years. In the band are Clifford Carter (piano, keyboards), Will Lee (bass, vocals), Ralph MacDonald (percussion), David Mann (tenor and soprano saxophones, flute) and Chris Parker (drums). Lee is perhaps best known for his work with the CBS Orchestra on the Late Show with David Letterman.

This is the first I have heard of the band but I am glad to finally have made their acquaintance as No Ordinary Day is an excellent album of feel good modern jazz that also harkens back to the days when jazz standards were all the rage. This is up lifting melodic music with excellent musicianship, solid arrangements and soulful playing. You may have noticed the absence of guitar but you need not worry as it is not missed at all. That should tell you something about the caliber of playing as all the instruments shine and no one person steals the show. This is a band effort through and through and the music is all the better because of it.

The album's first track is "Pussyfoot" inspired by the band Fourplay. A surreal and dreamy beginning is followed by a funky jazz groove with melodic sax and bubbly keyboards. The snappy beat is nice and crisp and the sound quality is excellent. The laid back breezy jazz of "It Seems To Me" has soft flowing piano and gentle sax lines before Parker's drumming provides a high point with his intricate fills. Other highlights include the somewhat moodier "Ostinato" with its melodic sax and keys with gentle wisps of percussion and the groovy R&B flavoured "Opus de Tophe" featuring outstanding bass work from Lee.

The album's last song is a reworking of the Herbie Hancock classic "Maiden Voyage" with Latin tinged piano and sax including Lee's patented bass and Parker's riveting drum patterns.

Toph-E & The Pussycats have released a fine album with No Ordinary Day. If you appreciate melodic R&B and jazz The Pussycats should satisfy your craving. It certainly did mine.

Track Listing:
1. Pussyfoot (5:34)
2. It Seems To Me (7:48)
3. No Ordinary Day (5:37)
4. Ostinato (7:47)
5. Of Every Thing I Know (Daquilo Que Sei) (5:40)
6. Tee (7:54)
7. BlackHouse (4:15)
8. Un Nuevo Mundo (5:23)
9. Opus de Tophe (5:09)
10. Tatchedogbe (Touch Wood) (5:03)
11. Impromptoph (4:24)
12. Maiden Voyage (7:14)

Added: November 22nd 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 1594
Language: english

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