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The Greyboy Allstars: Inland Emperor

The Greyboy Allstars traverse the entire expanse of ’70s funk, soul and acid-jazz on Inland Emperor, their first album since 2007’s outstanding What Happened to Television? Saxophonist Karl Denson, keyboardist Robert Walter, guitarist Michael Andrews, bassist Chris Stillwell and drummer Aaron Redfield are at it again, doing their best to make sure we don’t forget the music that got parties started four decades ago.

They begin with “Profundo Grosso,” a taste of psychedelic funk-rock that could have come off an eight-track in your dad’s VW Microbus, anchored by Walter’s swirling, circular patterns on an organ set to “All Skate.” Tunes like “Multiplier” and “Bomb Pop” distill the best of old-school funk-a snatch of the JBs here, a flicker of the Ohio Players there. “Better Get a Jump on It,” marked by Denson’s cool, popping flute, updates the unison-vocals approach of bands such as Parliament-Funkadelic with electronic keys and processing. Respect for individualism peeks through now and again, especially when Denson solos; he is at his best on “Multiplier,” playing smoothly when he supports, growing feisty when he takes the lead.

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