Durand Jones & The Indications: Durand Jones & The Indications
Durand Jones & The Indications make funk and soul that’s warm and deep. Fans of the Daptone Records catalog or of Frazey Ford will find a kindred soul in Jones and his crew, which coalesced as a group in Bloomington, Ind. One might hear a connection to Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield or even Terence Trent D’Arby in Jones, who can sing with just the right touch of raw edge. He can shout, but he’s just as likely to coo and go velvety. The singing’s great, and the songs—like “Make a Change,” “Is It Any Wonder?” and “Can’t Keep My Cool”—are very good. Special credit has to go to the players in The Indications, with a bassist who is remarkably restrained, allowing the depth and confident strength of the drums to take a central role. And the pairing of organ and delicate trebly guitar playing adds a churchy simmer, offset by a pleasing brightness. The Indications strut some of their Meters chops admirably. Glowing horns (Jones played and toured in a classically leaning saxophone quartet for a time), space-amplifying reverb, tasteful eyedropper applications of backing vocals, occasional gnarly guitar tones and pervasive slap-back make the album a deep-listening situation. Just the sounds of the drummer’s thumping kick, rimshot and spitting hi-hat are enough reasons to hole up with headphones. The band knows when to stop a groove for a beat or two to create tension and big payoffs when they set everything back in motion.