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Scone Cash Players – As the Screw Turns (Flamingo Time/Mango Hill)

8 October 2019

The prior release by Sugarman 3 veteran Adam Scone was Blast Furnace!, a soulful set of instrumentals featuring Scone’s Hammond B-3 organ supported by ace players from the Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley’s band. Saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith returns for As the Screw Turns, tightening up the album’s title track into a perfect accompaniment for the camel walk. Otherwise, Scone corrals a new cast of players for a different approach to a party album that’s both rowdy and tender. For starters, there are vocals on several cuts. Soul shouter Jason Joshua cooks with the percolating boogaloo of “Bokum Hi.” Joshua nods to titans James Brown and Bradley during the hard-nosed funk of “Canned Champagne,” spiked by Alex Chakour’s slinky guitar, the heavy snap of Caito Sanchez’ drums, Dave Guy’s soaring trumpet, and Scone’s dervish solo. Baritone John Dokes slows it down for seasonal offering “They Say It’s Christmas Time,” which finds Santa taking a stroll through every corner of Brooklyn. Gospel matron Naomi Shelton leads the underdog’s declaration “My House is Small (But I Dream Big),” stoking a partnership dating (at least) to 2002’s shimmering “Promised Land” by the Sugarman 3. Scone’s instrument is prominent throughout, with five instrumental tracks for fans of his organic acumen. “Smoke and Nails,” “Brass Tacks,” and “The Crown Divide” explore diverse facets of R&B that will appeal to fans of Booker T & the MGs. Guy and Chakour trade wicked licks before Scone unleashes spine-tingling keys on “Dr. Red Teeth.”