Without a doubt, Chris Hazelton’ Boogaloo 7 has become a favorite band and a regular in my daily rotation at home as well as up in the air when taking long intercontinental flights. The Kansas City, Missouri Jazz outfit delivers some of the most amazing music heard on vinyl reminiscent of and influenced by Jazz greats including Lonnie Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Grant Green and Lou Donaldson to name a few. Their latest LP, Soul Jazz Fridays cuts right to the chase and gives you a funky serving of southern friend groove grease with a slab of Hammond smacked right over top of it. At first glance of the cover, you would swear that you were purchasing a vintage LP pressed on a classic Jazz label like Prestige or Blue Note, but once the needle drops, you ultimately recognized that this is some of the finest Jazz to come out in recent years. Consisting of an equal portion of cover tunes done with their own twist and originals written by the band, Soul Jazz Fridays was recorded live at Green Lady Lounge, a venue that they’ve played at regularly since March 2014.
Every cut is a standout track but what’s rather interesting is their take on a modern tune, Suit & Tie originally done by Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z shows that the band has it’s ears to the streets and isn’t afraid of taking risks. Amazing instrumentation and well thought out arrangements makes this album a beautiful masterpiece and one that’s sure to fit nicely into our yearly top 10 must owns of 2016.
Soul Jazz Fridays is available on LP, CD or Digital Download via their site.