Atta Kid, East Basics (Independent)

Atta Kid’s connection to New Orleans is largely spiritual, though members of the Bay Area band have played with local icons including Irma Thomas and Zigaboo Modeliste.

They’re a funky jam band using Meters-like grooves as springboards for lengthy, vocal-free workouts. Much of this album is about grooving for its own sake, though the best moments happen when they shake things up compositionally:

The eight-minute “Touch & Go” gives everyone space for a solo, then shifts into a surprising, heavy-guitar coda.

Founders Max Cowan (organ) and Daniel Casares (sax) get most of the solo space and earn it; Cowan’s solos have a tasty Jimmy Smith vibe and Casares’ parts are often doubled by trumpet, for a vintage Tower of Power feel.

If you miss Galactic before they discovered electronica and hip-hop, this one is for you.

  • dburns

    It’s MAX Cowan. 🙂

  • Tjazz123

    How can they not mention Jermal Watson? He’s from Nola and has played with everybody including Dirty Dozen Brass Band.