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Fattburger: Work to Do

The San-Diego-based smooth-jazz band Fattburger is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and it’s commemorating the milestone with Work to Do! (Shanachie), a likable recording that showcases the band members well, both as individual instrumentalists and as an ensemble. Work to Do! demonstrates that even after two decades Fattburger can still make very satisfying music. Standout tracks include the gentle bossa nova ballad “Rene,” the spunky “Down Time” and the blue-tinged “B.D.D.D.”

The only knock is that there’s an overreliance on covers: four of the album’s 10 tracks are remakes, and one of those covers is a too-faithful retread of the Barry White chestnut “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything.” The other covers are interesting, well-performed choices, however: the title track is a lively take on the Isley Brothers’ hit, and the band turns in a pretty reading of the Quincy Jones/James Ingram classic “100 Ways.” Fattburger has performed Freddie Hubbard’s “Little Sunflower” in concert but has never record-ed it until now.

Originally Published