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Jon Cleary: Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

On one of the songs on Jon Cleary’s new album, the British-born, New Orleans-based keyboardist-vocalist-multi-instrumentalist declares, “You can’t make it truly funky if you ain’t playing with soul.” Judging from this album, Cleary and his band, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, know a lot about both. This prodigiously accomplished outfit-featuring drummer-vocalist Jeffrey “Jellybean” Alexander, guitarist-vocalist Derwin “Big D” Perkins and bassist-vocalist Cornell Williams-combines Crescent City R&B, gospel, blues, harmony-rich vocals, a hefty helping of funkand a whole lot of rousing high spirits to create an album that grooves infectiously with the unbridled energy of a late-night jam session. Simply put, this album is a delight from start to finish.

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