Defunkt: Classic Live

Defunkt, now in its second decade as a performing unit, remains unique in the groove jazz game. Chalk it up to the band’s musical vision-that of a world where funk/jazz fusion is treated as a natural state of being-and an often maddeningly uninformed listening public. Classic Defunkt: Live (Grassroots Records 0001; 71:03), which presents trombonist Joe Bowie’s collective live during an appearance at Jazz Open in Stuttgart, simply re-emphasizes the same things that fans have been grooving off these past two decades-the wincingly tight horn arrangements, the molten guitar solos (courtesy of seminal rock funkateers Ronnie Drayton and Kelvyn Bell, on tunes like “Strangling Me with Your Love”). And extra props have to go to bassist Kim Clarke, whose unerring bottom lines solder it all together.