Greyboy Allstars: A Town Called Earth

An approving nod from a James Brown veteran is the retro-funk equivalent of a papal benediction. So trombonist Fred Wesley’s glowing recommendation of the Greyboy Allstars-contained in the liner notes to their latest, A Town Called Earth (Greyboy Records, GBRCD005, 73:19), is enough reason for a sound-unheard purchase. This isn’t the crucial JB styled funk, however. It’s a sublime version of early ’70s instrumental soul, perfect for a late afternoon cool out. Tenor man Karl Denson may be the man out front, adding sweaty bleats to tunes like “Toys R Us,” and dropping some flute flavors on the relaxed “The Many Moods of Eric Newson.” But keyboardist Robert Walter (you’ll remember his solo joint, Spirit of ’70) is the constant, flavoring the Allstars’ extended workouts with pungent clavinet (“Turner’s Big House”), acoustic piano (“Quantico, VA.”) and electric piano.