The Filthy Six are a cut above your average Organ Jazz combo. Six musicians who look to the blueprint of the late 60s Organ groups for inspiration, yet are confident and, perhaps more importantly, skilful enough to give us something more than a respectful pastiche.
Led by trumpeter Nick Etwell (Tom Jones/Jill Scott/David Axelrod), the band have recorded their second album for Acid Jazz Records quickly and with little fuss. Recorded live to tape the overdubs were kept to a minimum but, with some of the added elements, most notably the vocals of Brendan Reilly, this is a step forward from their label debut and is a Jazz record positively brimming with Soul. Once again we are given a mixture of stylish originals and a few well chosen covers, and once more we are given a front line dominated by Etwell’s crisp solos, Mark Brown’s mastery of the saxophone, Pete Whitaker’s bluesy organ and Nigel Price’s nimble guitar work. The rhythm section of Dan Drury and newcomer Simon Lea provide the flexible support and rhythmic dexterity that this sort of music demands.
Of the originals the title track stands out for its languid pace and heartfelt solos - it is of no surprise that it is a tribute to their sadly departed drummer - whilst ‘The Rum Diary’, written in tribute to the Hunter S. Thompson novel but before the film appeared last year, gets to the heart of the story’s Latin soul; cooking thrillingly for nearly eight sultry minutes. The covers are, by coincidence, both Michael Jackson related. The group and Reilly take ‘Girlfriend’ from ‘Off The Wall's' disco sheen into the ‘Tighten Up’ territory; something that I’m sure the song’s composer Paul McCartney never had in mind but which works an absolute treat. The Jackson 5 track ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ is given a stunning instrumental makeover with Price taking the lead as if paying tribute to the great balladeering style of Boogaloo Joe Jones.
The Filthy Six are a truly dynamic live band and this album is all about capturing that feel and energy on record.
Out 16th April.