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Voodoo Boogaloo by Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom

Last year, Ron Levy released Best of Ron Levy’s Wild Kingdom, B3 Organic Grooves,which was all the way jamming, followed by After Midnight Grooves,giving his audience a taste of smooth, deep, mysterious blend.

Maybe Levy should have called his previous album, Almost the Best of .... . His latest album, Voodoo Boogaloogoes further into the trenches, showing just how skillful Levy is, both in composition and his performance.

Levy is no slouch when it comes to choosing his band, either. Karl Denson has a strong and soulful way with sax. Melvin Sparks is slinky on guitar. And, the rest of Levy’s guys don’t let a moment go to waste. The group is tight.

Slamming out with funky grooves on the keyboard, Ron Levy once again commands his audience’ attention with Organ Colossus. Not a moment is lost during this hip composition. "Sax" Gordon stretches with his wild tenor sax.

Percussion and vibes begin Voodoo Boogaloo, the CD’s title track, joined by smooth flute of Karl Denson. No holding back. Denson shows his stuff in a stellar solo. This racy tune takes listeners on a stroll through the middle of the rain forest or some island get-a-way.

Jeff Lockhart performs a slinky, guttural guitar mix for Love Retoined, as Levy again performs a hot strut on keyboard. A ‘schwa’ sound hints at funk, in this perky delight.

Getting’ down, getting out, Better Save Yo’seff, Sax Gordon does a rousing come back on sax, a little reminiscent of Junior Walker, with a soul-funk flavor.

Vibes are hot during Spy On The Fly, mingled with amazing strokes on Levy’s B-3.

Low down key strokes interspersed with a special harmonica performance by Jerry Portnoy makes Memphis Mem’ries a blues driven tune. Again, Denson’s deep, velvety sax captures some very sensual emotions. It’s easy to feel yourself in Memphis on a dark night, moon out of sight.

This entire album commands the listener’s attention, making you want to get up and shake something!

Next time Levy gets the urge to name an album Best of.... ha ought to wait. Each album seems to go a little further, capturing his audience ever more deeply into his sea of sound.

Is there no limit to what Levy and his crew can do?

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ron Levy's Wild Kingdom
  • CD Title: Voodoo Boogaloo
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Levtron
  • Tracks: Organ Colossus, Voodoo Boogaloo, Love Retoined, Better Save Yo’seff, Spy on the Fly, Spank!, Wes Side West, Memphis Mem’ries
  • Musicians: Ron Levy: organ, piano, electric pianos, vibes, strings, basses, clavinet, Korg MS-20, arranging & programming. Melvin Sparks: guitar, Karl Denson: alto, tenor sax, flute; Jeff Lockhart: guitar, Russ Lawton: percussion, drums, tambourine; Yahuba Garcia: congas, timbales; Adrome “Acidman” MacHine: drums, percussion; “Sax” Gordon: baritone sax, tenor sax Special guest: Jerry Portnoy—harmonica on Memphis
  • Rating: Five Stars
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