One of favorite new New Jersey bands, Conundrum, who has been wowing live audiences with their hybrid of funky jazz hip hop fusion is back with their latest effort, Social Music. Starting the record off right with the Lee Morgan-esque “Mastora”, with it’s straight ahead jazz riffs and a breakdown to fade out that lends itself to the Conundrum style: funky. Speaking of funky, they steam roll right into the next track “The Hammer”. Heavy on the keys with a deep bass line and back beat, it’s the soul in the horn that helps this track along. “Honey Roasted”, our favorite track on the record, is a Latin tinged jam. For us it feels like some late ’60’s Quincy Jones arrangements meets some Prestige soul jazz (take your pick). A lovely stroll in Paulus Hook with the sun shining down bright, this track definitely does the same. “Crown Fried (Jam)”, and who doesn’t want some, is a little pick me up jazz jam that runs over seven minutes. Heavy vibes throughout on this side, and we are definitely feeling it. The percussion break down is tight, and if you can’t move to this one, well have the doctor check you out. “Red Hour”, a more mellow, smoothed out jazz track (complete with some fusion in he middle) is more on the CTI vibe, while the album’s last track, “Not Yet” rounds things off with some more of that funky jazz Conundrum are becoming more and more recognized for. These guys are talented for sure, and Germain Brito’s trumpet blasts off into the stratosphere on this record. With help from Cole Frisnia on tenor sax, Isaac Sanchez on Guitar, Mike Sheelar on Keys, Kyosuke Nonoyama on bass, plus the percussion of Edurdo Sinay and guira by Gybram Brito, Social Music is another great effort from this Chilltown USA/ Bayonne crew. Whether you are familiar with these up and comers or just hearing them for the first time, enjoy their own brand of funky jazz hip hop fusion. And since we were just celebrating Dilla Day, they also do a mean cover of Dilla in their live shows. Much respect for that, and another reason for you to check them live in NYC or the Jersey City area. Stay tuned.
Listen to the record below: