Lettuce was the first home for several notable musicians on the current soul/jazz scene, and on this release, they revisit former glories and work up quite a sweat over an brief hour of jazzy R&B, deep soul, and hard funk, with a nod in the direction of fusion. A couple of the band members are in John Scofield’s band, so he guests on a couple of tracks, which is always a good thing. And another one of them plays with Soulive, so Neal Evans is here as well. Eagerly citing The Meters as a prime inspiration, Lettuce also borrows heavily from Sly and the Family Stone’s raucous and crowd-pleasing funk, and even from Weather Report’s experiments. The centerpieces are the two versions of “Nyack,” of which the 13 minute long live version is the better one, all unrestrained energy and a full blowout to round off the album. Although Lettuce concentrate on original compositions, don’t expect to hear anything really new here. But if what you’re looking for is some insistent and driving jazz funk, this is an hour well spent.
Velour Music: http://www.velourmusic.com