Joseph Veloz – Joseph and the Velozians | Album Review

Joseph Veloz – Joseph and the Velozians

Big O Records

8 songs, 41 minutes

Music that is led by rhythm section players, understandably, often centers around that rhythm section instrument. When done well it can create a unique effect. Pro bassist Joseph Veloz’s 2nd solo recording Joseph and the Velozians succeeds in this way. By featuring the bass while creating a full funky band sound, this 8 song blast offers a locked in and jumping experience.

Veloz is a deep toned facile bassist. His tone pops, thumps and locks in with drummers Donny Brown and Dave Marcaccio. His Velozians crew is a large rotating ensemble and Veloz is a generous band leader allowing his musicians lots of room to shine. Keyboardist Jim Alfredson plays on the whole album and especially shines on his penned instrumental “The Velozian Shuffle.” Guitarists Drew Abbott, Tim O’Donnell (also on vocals), and Scott VanDelland each have their own single song features while Carlton Washington blasts 3 tunes of six string magic. James Anderson adds percussion, Sam Corey saxophones, Roseann and Rosemere Matthews background vocals and John Rickert trumpet.

Veloz is an in demand bassist. A former member of Joanna Shaw Taylor’s band, Veloz currently plays with the bombastic Larry McCray and the Blues shouting Thornetta Davis, both of whom offer their talents here. McCray’s feature “Pretty Is As Pretty Does” leads off the set and scorches the earth. McCray is so in sync with Veloz and Co. that the music jumps out the speaker. Ms. Davis croons 2 well trod covers. A hip funked up version of “I Got My Mojo Working” breaks open ½ way through giving way to a sanctified double time version that pushes the track past the 7 minute mark. A smoothed out version of the CeeLo hit “Crazy” is elevated by Davis’ profound singing and the quality of the band even if the material is over exposed.

Joseph Veloz is a musical explorer. His adventurous muse is especially highlighted by his “Neo Soul Experiment” version of Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love.” Veloz and saxophonist Sam Corey create a chilled out bizzaro instrumental take on this Soul classic. This track illustrates Veloz’s fun loving side on a fun loving album. Solid, smooth, well performed and thumping.

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