Funking heaven

Issue 

Funkenstein
Tim Hopkins
ABC Music
Reviewed by Jenny Long
This album — Hopkins' second — takes the mantle of both acid jazz and funk. Its motivating force is Hopkins' unbridled saxophone, combining with Mike Nock's sometimes flying, sometimes solid piano. Together they move the album through several changes in pace from a fast, up front beginning with "Yaweh returns", through a slower, satisfying sound in "Regarding the ex", to the ponderous "Sex on the moon". Hopkins and friends work back up from there, through a couple of laid back tunes, including the gospel-toned "Peaceable" to the flying "Viva vanity" in which notes are flipping from under Nock's fingers as fast as he can play them. Fabian Hevia's percussion on several tracks adds a dimension to Hamish Stuart's drumming, washing over "Sex on the moon" like a cosmic breeze and adding to the mad sound of "Oh Henry!". It's these two tunes which vie for the highlight of the album for me. The outstanding presence of James Greening's trombone on both make the mood gentle and slightly regretful on "Sex", and exciting on "Henry". Add to the latter Tim Hall's inspired vocals and it is perhaps the number one. Those with an interest in a jazz groove from one of Sydney's new generation should hear the album and make up their own minds. Hopkins is also playing each Thursday night at Sydney's Kinselas if you want to see him perform live.

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