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Rick Latham and the Groove Doctors: Live and Loaded

Silverlight’s West Coast counterpart may be drummer Rick Latham, whose agenda is clear by the name of his band, the Groove Doctors. Recorded at Hollywood’s Baked Potato, Live and Loaded (RLP) is an opportunity for these L.A. session cats to stretch out on familiar fare like Joe Zawinul’s soul-jazz staple “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” Joe Sample’s “Put It Where You Want It” and Pee Wee Ellis’ “The Chicken,” interspersed with originals like the Average White Band-ish “Back It Up” and bassist Vail Johnson’s mondo-slap showcase “Funky Vail.” Latham keeps it strictly in the pocket throughout, rarely straying from that deep two-and-four groove. And though he’s given solid support by a quintet of seasoned veterans, including the outstanding tenor saxophonist Albert Wing, formerly of Frank Zappa’s band, the material here doesn’t rise much above competent bar-band funk.

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