Here is Actual Proof that a band of talented musicians can break the mold of what you expect from any one particular genre.
On Paradigm Shift Eric Mullis (vibraphone), Phillip Berkley III (bass), Scott Brower (drums) and Silas Aldridge (keyboard) throw away the book and write their own for jazz-funk. The title gives a full explanation of what is going on here. A paradigm shift is something monumental like they mention on their CD Baby product page…how Copernicus made everyone realize that the Earth was the center of the universe. In the same instance this band has you believing they are the center of jazz funk universe as this recording plays and provokes your senses in every way possible.
Actual Proof throws a little something different into each track to keep your total focus on the music. I was totally absorbed listening to their funky brand of jazz fusion. Tracks like “Island” show how vibrant that this band can be, using all of their instruments to their fullest potential, providing a kind of world feel to their sound. On “Taboo” I liked the way they featured every instrument without letting you forget all the other excellent musicianship that is going on around it at all times. For instance, when they wanted the keyboards to step out front you heard that but could not miss the fact that the bass sounded so wonderful and predominant as well. It is hard to explain but they have somehow found a way to produce this recording so every instrument sounds leading without washing out another in any way and the finished product is the coolest jazz funk amalgamation.
The vibes always lend a classy touch to jazz and this CD is no exception. Eric Mullis is superb throughout the recording. On “Harvey” his beautiful vibes allures the alto saxophone of guest Adrian Crutchfield in to the mix and the result is heavenly. Right after that exchange it gets more interesting as Silas Aldrige adds some nice keyboards then the entire composition explodes in synchronicity completing a of wave jazz-funk sound that separates itself from anything you have heard before. This is not like a building crescendo in a rock song, its one instrument after another taking the color palette and subtleties of jazz and making it into a mountain of sound, a literal aural gem for your pleasure.
Actual Proof creates a real masterpiece of jazz-funk they can call their own and honestly say that its original and unique, an offering to the masses that enjoy tastefully done music by seasoned pros that know how deliver it all wrapped up and ready to go whenever the mood strikes you.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 31, 2010