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Take three guys with loads of experience in jazz, rock, funk and anything that jams, put ‘em in a recording studio (or onstage), and you might well get something like WRD’s The Hit. After years of plotting backstage at places like New Orleans JazzFest, guitarist Eddie Roberts from New Mastersounds (as well as owner of Color Red), drummer Adam Deitch from Lettuce and organist Robert Walter from Greyboy Allstars combined the results of a handful of studio sessions for their new combo’s debut. Drawing on decades’ worth of funky soul jazz and improvisation-fueled groove, the trio kicks out the hip-shaking jams here. “Poison Dart” finds the threesome in a New Orleans mood without resorting to second-line clichés, while “Sleep Depraved” puts the trio’s raw spin on The Sound of Philadelphia. “Hot Honey” frosts its hard bop with guest Nick Gerlach’s slick sax, as “Red Sunset” cruises down a smooth but funky highway. The album-closing “Pump Up the Valium” goes straight for head-nodding groove. Each player brings his A-game to the floor, particularly Walter, and everybody clearly has a grand old time. Anyone with a taste for both musical improvisation and sheer danceability should as well.
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