Modern Groove Syndicate | Ms. Popular

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Recommended if You Like
Galactic Medeski Martin and Wood The Headhunters

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Label's Website Official Website My Space Page Clip on YouTube

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United States - Virginia

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Jazz: Acid Jazz Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Ms. Popular

by Modern Groove Syndicate

Contemporary or acid jazz
Genre: Jazz: Acid Jazz
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Soul Prostitution
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3:10 $0.99
2. El Guapo
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4:31 $0.99
3. Raleigh
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3:19 $0.99
4. Sister Rose
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4:44 $0.99
5. June Bug
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3:32 $0.99
6. Bunky Flues
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4:18 $0.99
7. Miss Popular
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5:06 $0.99
8. Original Mac
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4:02 $0.99
9. Red Bean
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5:14 $0.99
10. Kevin Simpson
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3:48 $0.99
11. Long Necked Ducks (Attack of the)
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2:42 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Modern Groove Syndicate's third release has been a long process well worth the wait. Recorded in April 2006, it took MGS another year to mix and master it to their satisfaction. The selectors for the 2007 Theresa Pollack Award for excellence in the arts said, Modern Groove Syndicate "understands the 'rub' between the moving parts that make the beats sing and are conscious that it is the melody that glues the cracks up tight. MGS is an instrumental funk band with a knack for burning improvisations that can only come from seasoned vets with sharp musicianship and cagey instincts. When they play, there is a joy that can only come from hard work and a healthy dose of chemistry. A lot of bands fool around with this style of music. Modern Groove owns it."

MGS Awards

Theresa Pollack Award for
Excellence In The Arts 2007
Richmond Magazine

Best Jazz Track 2005
Independent Music Awards

Virginia's Best Jazz Band 2004
Nine Volt Magazine

Modern Groove Syndicate is:
Daniel Clarke - organ, Clavinet, microKorg,
Moog,Rhodes, Wurlitzer, piano
Joel DeNunzio - drums and percussion
Todd Herrington - basses and percussion
JC Kuhl - tenor, alto & bari saxes, flute, percussion
www.moderngroovesyndicate.com
www.myspace.com/moderngroovesyndicate


Reviews


to write a review

scott robinson

Intense
Music explodes with intense energy variation. These artists are very good. I really like the heavy bass and drum funk.

Walfred Thulin Jr

Radio KZSU Review
Fo
Reviewed 2008-02-03
MODERN GROOVE SYNDICATE: Ms. Popular
Courthouse, 2007

INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ-FUNK – MGS’s third CD is a winner. The grooves are hot, the melodies catchy, the solos clean and confident. These are solid, unassuming, good-time party jams in nice, radio-friendly lengths, so go ahead and funk up your set already.

All tracks fun. Fo’s Picks: 1, 2, 5, 7, 8

1. 3:10 – upbeat, rolling groove; wailing sax solo, noisy break. Wheee!
2. 4:32 – cool strut with dirty keyboards, sing-song melody
3. 3:17 – speedy, happy sound: everybody gets a short solo
4. 4:45 – relaxed down-home soul, sax & keys stay close together
5. 3:31 – fast ‘n’ furious! Squawking keys & rollicking sax burn away...
6. 4:18 – a lazy, countrified blues stroll, everyone takes it easy
7. 5:06 – chunky funk with an attitude; slammin’ beats w/samples
8. 4:02 – even chunkier, with more attitude & rockin’ breaks
9. 5:14 – midtempo walk, relatively simple with cool organ & bass
10. 3:46 – uptempo, churning groove with staccato melody
11. 2:43 – silly quacking tune over merry little groove, nice keyboard solo

[ Fo ] 3-Feb-08

Walfred Thulin Jr

Style Weekly Review
Style Weekly Jan. 2, 2008
“Ms. Popular” is the third and most assured CD from Modern Groove Syndicate. As before, the band’s acid-jazz/funk jams are constructed from simple catchy riffs and propulsive rhythmic patterns, supplied by bassist Todd Herrington and drummer Joel DeNunzio, and overlaid with intense and playful improvisations from saxophonist JC Kuhl and pianist Daniel Clarke. The music traces its roots back through the instrumental fusion funk of the 70’s to the greasy soul jazz organ bands of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and others.
The “modern” edge is provided by speed and density of ideas. Kuhl isn’t afraid to color outside the lines and Clarke’s encyclopedic range of keyboards provides a spectrum of textures. The details shine through the transparent arrangements and recordings.
It’s a good time to see them live (their schedule, currently through March, can be found at www.myspace.com/moderngroovesyndicate). Now that Clarke has become a fixture on the national scene – first with Mandy Moore and now with country torch chanteuse k. d. lang – the once common MGS shows may become rarities.
Four Stars
–Peter McElhinney

C Webb

Speed upped Jazz
Sounds like a great buy!

LasseM

Awesome
A will-ful and most groovy train nobody can stop

XM72's Russ Davis

Breakthrough
"MGS proves that groove music can be both creative and fun. These guys know what it means to improvise, use the tricks of the studio, keep it simple but at the same time add the little things that make it inventive too. I'd say 'Ms. Popular' will be their breakthrough release."

Walfred Thulin Jr

KOOP 91.7 FM Austin TX
On their third album, the Richmond, Virginia jazz-funk quartet delivers grooves that will appeal not only to fans of Medeski, Martin & Wood, as keyboardist Daniel Clarke lays down funky organ riffs, but will also bring back memories of Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock, most notably thanks to saxophonist J.C. Kuhl’s solos in the manner of Bennie Maupin. After an electronic intro, “Soul Prostitution” (#1) comes on like a mix of MMW, the Brecker Brothers, and the theme from “Sanford & Son.” “El Guapo” (#2) likewise uses a long, random intro that coalesces into a moderate groove built around Todd Herrington’s bass line and Clarke’s organ & clavinet. “Raleigh” (#3) is an up-tempo, horn- & organ-driven workout that alternates between a busy 4-bar melodic statement and solos from Kuhl, Clarke, and, briefly, Herrington with drummer Joel DeNunzio. After the gospel-ish “Sister Rose” (#4), “June Bug” (#5) again ups the rhythm with Kuhl & Clarke on Moog teaming up on the melody, then taking alternating short solo bursts. On “Original Mac” (#8) trades his tenor for a baritone sax, and Clarke strides his Wurlitzer on a hard jam whose menacing main melodic descent reminds one of the theme from “The Ghost & Mr. Chicken.” On “Kevin Simpson” (#10), Kuhl takes up the soprano and Clarke uses Micro Korg & Rhodes and a jerky rhythm with Hancockian overtones. The playing is solid throughout, and even though funk-jam-jazz groups are not in short supply, it’s always nice to hear one with solid roots in their 70s ancestors take a stab at adding to the legacy.
Paul Borelli 12/27/07

Walfred Thulin Jr

Celebrity Cafe Review
Modern Groove Syndicate - Ms. Popular
- A five piece ensemble of jazz musicians with the heart and soul of a funk band, Modern Groove Syndicate is a genre-bridging band that will get your feet tapping -– whether you listen to contemporary jazz or not. There seems to be a natural chemistry to the players that can be heard even by the untrained ear. There’s a lot to be said for a band that can play so well together and equally value the contributions of individual musician's improvisation. For all their innovations, the Modern Groove Syndicate also knows the value of simplicity in music, which makes this album especially listenable. The band has raked up awards, entering in 45th place in 2002’s Grammies for best pop instrumental for “Fryin’ Eggs and Bacon,” and "Ms. Popular" just may be the bands’ most promising album yet. Stand out tracks: "El Guapo" and "Bunky Flues."

Reviewer: Mindy Munizaga

Walfred Thulin Jr

Southeast Performer April 2008
Even though Modern Groove Syndicate incorporates so many instruments and styles into its musical conglomerate — funk, jazz, hip-hop, Latin and soul all are present here — the question remains: does Modern Groove Syndicate offer anything to make themselves stand out?
It goes without saying that these five musicians are wildly talented. The smooth and rustic jams of “El Guapo” and “Soul Prostitution” demonstrate a refined ability for collective tastefulness and patience, as each instrument, although reserved one moment, launches into experimentation the next. More earnest tracks, like “Raleigh,” show a more vivacious and colorful side, as organ and saxophone commingle to create an unrestricted riff that is not only multi-cultural, but highly listenable and skillfully stunning.
But are they original? On “Bunky Flues,” you can distinctly hear the band groping for authenticity, especially as the keyboard is used more as a medium for adding color, texture and sponteneity than it is for writing a radio-friendly song. “Bunky Flues,” in fact, could be seen as a waste of space in the eyes of folks not interested in impulsiveness; here Modern Groove Syndicate is like musical Kerouac. Which is, perhaps, the band’s closest analog. But the line between uninspired and inspired in the jam band genre is gray, and ultimately MGS, although delightfully listenable, might search for more steady nuance in their rightfully anticipated sophomore effort. (Courthouse Records)
www.moderngroovesyndicate.com
Brian Gilton