Mo’ Blow ‘Live in Berlin’ CD (ACT) 3/5

mo-blowIf jazz-funk with subtle Fender Rhodes touches is your bag, then this live recording at the A-Trane club in Berlin from German outfit Mo Blow will be of interest. While not ground breaking music, the compositions are competently performed from a quartet that have honed their live craft over ten years and debuted with ACT in 2011, completing three studio albums thus far. The opener, ‘Ricky the lobster’, with tasty horns courtesy of Felix Falk, is notable for brooding fender work of Matti Klein and bass excursion from Tobias Fleischer. Guest vocalist Pat Appelton adds some welcome variety on the soulful mid-tempo burner, ‘No particular way’, and, in general, the band would be well served to have a regular vocalist in order to attract a wider audience beyond jazz-funk diehards. Nils Landgren guest on trombone and vocals on two numbers.Influences range from Weather Report to mid-1980s Miles Davis, but it is the Headhunters who are the inspiration on the fender-led jam groove of ‘Slingshot’ with bass straight out of the Marcus Miller school. The repertoire here covers the last decade of the group’s activity and is a fine entry point into the music.

Tim Stenhouse