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October 2007

Greyboy Allstars
What Happened to Television?
Knowledge Room

The Greyboy Allstars came together in the early ’90s with the intention of revisiting the gritty street funk of ’70s soundtracks. On this, their first album in a decade, they still do it like few others. Karl Denson’s gruff flute combines with Elgin Park’s guitar on “Deck Shoes” to transport listeners back to the days of the titular footwear. “Old School Cylons” adds some snaky bassy clavinet-and-flute leads to a melody that comes back to the future when DJ Greyboy, the band’s namesake, adds his turntables to the mix.

The Allstars went on hiatus when each member got involved with diverse side projects, after the group helped bridge the gap between jam bands and jazz. The same can be said for ...Television, which falters when they get stuck in a groove that simply repeats, or when the band decides to add vocals: “Still Waiting”’s sexism sounds especially lunkheaded and the solo shout-outs in “Give the Drummer Some More” don’t work in a studio setting like they would onstage. On the other hand, the groovy take on “How Glad I Am” (a standard done by everyone from Nancy Wilson to Brenda Lee) benefits from the dreamy vocals of the Living Sisters—Eleni Mandell, Becky Stark and Inara George.

Originally published in October 2007
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