Freekbass & The Bump Assembly: Cincinnati
When one goes under the nom de plume of Freekbass, there’s every reason to expect an equal measure of both funk and spunk. Happily then, Freekbass doesn’t disappoint and, on this, his sixth album so far, he shows that he’s a bandleader and a bassist worthy of that reputation. Having weaned himself on such prodigious forebears as Larry Graham, Parliament and Sly Stone, he not only gives their bottom-heavy rhythms a reboot for contemporary listening, but also enlists the support of various A-list guest stars to help along the way—Phish bassist Mike Gordon, Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, among them. His new offering pays homage to his hometown of Cincinnati, and with producer Duane Lundy (Jim James, Ben Sollee) at the helm, he and his band Bump Assembly turn in an infectious set of soulful, sassy jams and brass-infused instrumentals. “Don’t Waste My Time,” “Put It in a Letter” and “You Don’t Have the Time” figure among the best of the bunch, but regardless, the groove only gets deeper with each successive song. Archetypical funk, sans hype or gimmickry, Cincinnati recalls the sound of vintage radio-ready R&B with an approach that’s as fresh and vital as ever.