Classics: Down To The Bone – Staten Island Groove (Internal Bass)
Originally seeing the light back in 1995 as a limited 12″ pressing. Then included on their ‘From Manhattan To Staten Island’ debut-album the year after… The outstanding ‘Staten Island Groove’ keeps on rollin’ just the way it did back in the day. Sounding like a travelling in some deep and jazzy territories. It owes a lot to its infectious funk guitar driven rhythm pattern and its blowin’ sax part. This in addition to aerial synth lines comin’ under the form of successive waves around lush vibe and key parts.
This bumpin’ ‘Staten Island Groove’ just seems like an evidence at first listen because of its undeniable fluidity. Although built on a complex architecture as a matter of fact. With the surprising thing being that DTTB mastermind – Stuart Wade – doesn’t play any instruments. But he hums the tunes into a dictaphone before they get recorded by his pals. Another particular thing regarding this band being the fact that they perform with two different line-ups. With the original one in the UK and the other Stateside.
The first time one would see a mention of Down To The Bone dates from 1993. This with a remix of ‘Joy Is Free’ for Think Twice. A group DTTB mastermind Stuart Wade was a member of at the time. The latter eventually joinin’ forces with Think Twice keyboardist Simon Greenway. But also Graham Flowers, Neil Angilley and Imaani at the time. Releasing the stellar ‘Staten Island Groove’ back in 1995, then their debut-album – (‘From Manhattan To Staten’) the year after. Thus appearing in the tradition of those solid British bands such as Incognito or Brand New Heavies. If not RSL, Typesun or The Haggis Horns. With thanks to extra gems such as ‘Yo Mama’s So Phat’.
‘The Urban Grooves – Album II’, its follow-up, just confirmed the impression two years after. This with the killer ‘Long Way From Brooklyn’ and the soothing ‘A Little Touch Of Soul’.
After three albums on Internal Bass, DTTB made a quick stop at GRP for a one-off before switching to Narada Jazz. There, they released another three albums. With the last in the series – ‘Supercharged’ – featuring Hil St Soul on ‘Smile To Shine’. Not to mention Roy Ayers on ‘Electric Vibes’ which received the remixing treatment courtesy of DJ Spinna.
‘Dig It’, their last album to date saw the light back in April 2014.
One of the particularisms of Down To The Bone is the fact that they perform with two different line-ups. With the original one in the UK and the other Stateside.
You might also like…
10 essential Jazz Funk classics (Part 3)…