Local groove explorers fo/mo/deep will officially release their 3rd album, TheGroovyGoodness, on June 3rd. The band’s core lineup has changed since 2012’s A Beautiful Bang, as Joshua Boyd is their new keyboardist and plays on most of the new album. The personnel change does not seem to have affected the band’s mission much, though, as the album reveals continued experiments in the jazz, funk, world, and fusion realms.
The seven original compositions here show growth in the band’s songwriting, especially the funky ode to a soulful dessert, “Peach Cobbler,” written by bassist/bandleader Ron “Fatkat” Holmes, and the buoyant contemporary tune “That Song (This Love),” written by saxophonist Dr. Keith Newton. Of course, the album also continues the band’s custom of featuring a strong selection of covers, though they dug deeper for the tunes this time around. “Groidology,” written by Peven Everett and recorded by bassist Curtis Lundy, is an unsung groove classic that I fell in love with when I first heard fo/mo/deep play it in November. The version here cuts a bit of the fluff from the original while maintaining the hypnotic groove and featuring great solos, including one from guest trombonist Michael Goecke. The album concludes with “Chamsa,” a touching Boyd solo piano tribute to Israeli pianist Shimrit Shoshan, who tragically died in 2012 at the age of 29.
TheGroovyGoodness sounds to me like fo/mo/deep’s best album so far, a well-rounded collection of varied jazz grooves. The band is celebrating the release and Holmes’ birthday with a free listening party at Brothers Drake on Friday, May 30th, from 7 to 8:30pm. You will be able to hear selections from the new album and the previous albums, and CDs will be available for purchase. Visit the band’s website for more details and online ordering information.
Here are a couple of the new songs for your previewing pleasure: