Pieces of a Dream – On Another Note

May 25, 2019

For 42 years, the founding members of the iconic funky c-jazz band Pieces of a Dream, namely keys/piano giant James Lloyd and drummer Curtis Harmon, have been absolutely killing it with each and every release. The years may have changed the direction or sound of some veterans in this business — and these two childhood friends have seen many members of their own group come and go–but the substance, the character, and the soul of Pieces’ music and identity have remained solidly in place to the point where one has to ask “How do they do this??”

The latest firecracker from these larger-than-life artists is called On Another Note, more of the stuff that has kept them in the limelight and looming large in the hearts of c-jazz lovers everywhere.

Combining an uncanny sense of musicianship and professionalism (the late Count Basie once called them a “tough act to follow,” and the late Grover Washington, Jr. took them under his wing and signed them as the first group with his then-new production company), Pieces just keeps strutting along with their magical potion of jazz, funk, R&B, blues, and pop.

Known the world over and respected by music artists everywhere for their brand and consistency, the group again delivers a serious wallop with this latest. The album serves up equal doses of driving funk and sophistication as only true masters of the art form can deliver.

From the snappy lead and title track to the silky-smooth mid-tempo “Floating” to the outrageously funky “Kickin’ & Screamin’” and all tracks that follow, the command of what shapes this genre is undeniable and real.

I’d be totally remiss in not mentioning the support musicians contributing to this gem, including the stellar sax work of Tony Watson Jr. and guitarist Chris Harris. They definitely add hot spice to the overall project.

Yes, this class act keeps cranking out top-tier grooves, and, if you’re like me, you pray that we’re all in for more of the same for years to come. Grab this groove and join the one party that never ends. – Ronald Jackson