Some groups do an excellent job of describing their sound, style, and very essence in their promo material. Some do a lousy job, the description turning out to be quite contrary to their perceived notion of themselves. I was quite pleased to discover that The Bass Mint Bros. band belongs in the former category, easily coalescing their sense of who they are with the reality of it all. Translation: They are who they say they are and then some. Paraphrasing their own descriptive, "Acid, urban, old-school jazzy/funky/soul," just leaves you nodding in total agreement between bopping your head in time to the contagious grooves put forth on this can’t-stand-still debut album by a group of former studio and backing musicians.
The solid material, reminiscent of the jazz organs of Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, and Booker T., also provides the dance-funk of groups like Fishbelly Black and Down to the Bone to answer any calls for good ol’ backbone rhythm with fat bass lines. Immediately attacking you with funk grooves from the opening track, "Awakened By a Noon Day Sun" (appropriately titled) all the way through the poetry-rich finale "Valley Park Groove," there are simply no idle moments in this collection. As organist Mwalim explains, "With some of this, I reached back to the days when we recorded using two tape-decks patches together and endless overdubbing to get some of the dirty sounds I was looking for." Quite simply, it worked. Hats off to the cats who drew these Sketches of a Neighborhood. They certainly belong in our neighborhood of good, funky jazz.