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Greg Adams – East Bay Soul 2.0

Feb. 28, 2012

Horns, horns, lots of funky horns. That’s what we get with the new release, East Bay Soul 2.0, from former Tower of Power trumpeter (and one of the band’s founders) Greg Adams and his East Bay Soul band as they revive that solid TOP groove in glorious fashion.

There are high points laced throughout this album. There’s the high-powered lead track, “The Getaway,” the satiny soulful feel of “The Love of My Life” with masterful vocals from Darryl Walker (who struts his smooth pipes throughout all of the vocal tracks on this album, by the way), the sultry stride of “To Catch A Thief,” the crazy funkiness of “The Devil You Know,” and the gentle, telling, and heart-warming finale, “I’m Comin’ Home.” It’s clear that Adams’ vision was intensely focused on reaching in deep and capturing the soul of the listener with the soul of this colorful project.

Adams and his band were obviously deserving of being nominated for International Group of the Year by the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards in 2010. After listening to this latest effort, I would not be at all surprised to hear of yet another nomination. The eloquent horn arrangements, the power of Walker’s vocals, the moving rhythms, and Adams’ trademark suave delivery all make for a tasteful adventure in style and sound.

If you enjoyed the first East Bay Soul offering in 2009 and the TOP years, Adams easily demonstrates here just how easy it is for him to tap into your tastes once again. – Ronald Jackson