Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Instrumental Jazz/World Review: Pablo Embon-Funky Side of The Road

Release Date: December 19, 2016
Label: Independent

The last album I heard from Pablo Embon was The World Within back in March. It rapidly became the most read review and remains at #1 on my Write A Music Review site. So, at this point my expectations are already set, I expect more of same…great music, quality sound and a good mixture of genres. So now we have the arrival of Funky Side of The Road coming out in December. It lived up to my expectations in every way possible.

Some of the tracks serve as a good jam session and others have more middle of the road run times. The mixture of jazz, rock and world is very enticing to a listener seeking a variety of sounds or all of them combined. Pablo keeps it fresh and moving from start to finish on this recording.
There is a lot to take in amongst the 12 instrumental tracks on Funky Side of The Road. The operative phrase that is best suited to encapsulate this project is “variety is the spice of life.” Pablo puts ample amounts of spice in his music to give it a life all its own.

“Midnight Blues” reminded of me of a favorite album from the Al Di Meola Project titled Soaring Through A Dream. That was also the year I saw him in San Francisco playing cuts from that album. The track is atmospheric and landing right in the middle of jazz and blues. They are in the same family traveling the same road but take different exits if you will. There is nothing more powerful in a listening experience than validation and familiarity with other favorite artists. It is like being in the here and now and looking back to the past all at the same time.

The tastefully done “Misfortune” has a late night smoky club vibe to it. Delicate and pronounced keyboards make their entrance and pull you away into dreamland. Not quite the funky side until the next track starts. 

The playful and provocative “Naughty Lucy” sounds a little Steely Dan goes to the carnival and never gets off the ride. Or better yet, you the listener has a free pass to stay on and you decide to get off (when the track ends!). The carefree playful mood of the track puts a smile in your heart and gets your feet tapping or doing an outright dance on floor, whatever comes first, it works on you and gets you up and out of your seat.

“Our Last Dance” seems like it would be a fitting way to close out the album because of the track name alone. However, this is not the case here, Pablo keeps you guessing and more importantly entertained throughout the run of this album. This one is more of a traditional jazz number that is as smooth and pristine as a shiny new car on the showroom floor. It hollers out to you and invites you to sit down and take a test drive.

Funky Side of The Road is indie music at its very best. A multitude of talent is presented and you get a front row seat to some tastefully done tracks, some have a slower pleasing pace while others grab you and take you for jog around the block and keep you energized. When all is said and done you just heard a very solid and entertaining album full of instrumental jazz and world music.

I took more than a test drive I was there at the starting gate and went to the finish line listening to a fine group of tracks presented by one multi-talented artist.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Midnight Blues, Naughty Lucy, Our Last Dance

Tracks: 
01. Is that You?
02. Golden Peak
03. 2222
O4. Wedding Day
O5. Green Lizard
O6. Our Last Dance
07. The Time Has Come
08. Naughty Lucy
09. Misfortune
10. One Day Left
11. Midnight Blues
12. Fools Game (Unplugged)
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 15, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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