(5 / 5)
They say greens are good for you! Does that include lettuce?
The US funkateers Lettuce blur the boundaries of genres with their fiery brand of jazz, soul, hip-hop, psychedelic, jam-rock and experimental music.
Not to forget the aforementioned funk, of course, written and performed by a vastly talented and experienced six-piece for more than three decades.
After six albums, they notched up a Grammy nomination for their 2019 album “Elevate”, in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category.
“Resonate”, their seventh album, gives respectful tugs of the forelock to the past and to their funky forefathers, while keeping things pretty much on-trend for today.
They nail the groove, are well “in the pocket” and know how to throw a party across 11 tracks with a sparkling up-tempo set.
The opener “Blaze”, is a strong start, and second in, “Good Morning Mr Schmink” channels Tower of Power’s track “Squib Cakes”, especially with the impressive David Garibaldi-esque drum work.
A previous single, the addictive “Checker Wrecker”, and the Eastern music-infused “Moska” are among the standouts.
Produced and engineered by Russ Elevado, who has worked with the likes of D’Angelo, The Roots, and Erykah Badu.
Lettuce are Adam Deitch on drums and percussion, Adam Smirnoff on guitar, Erick Coomes on bass, Ryan Zoidis on alto, baritone, tenor sax and Korg X-911, Eric Bloom on trumpet and horns and Nigel Hall on vocals, Hammond B-3, Rhodes, clavinet and keyboards.
Members of this band have worked with the likes of Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Questlove, Justin Timberlake, The Fugees, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Britney Spears and Gary Clark Jr., among many others.
But as a unit here, they are a mini superpower, on finely tailored material that’s a snug fit to their individual and collective talents. Perhaps even a tiny bit better than their Grammy-nominated release from last year, in terms of the songs and the sheer energy.
A little gem – that’s a type of lettuce, by the way!
By Max Robertson
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’