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The Allen Carman Project — Carmanology

Feb. 24, 2019

Here’s a fun, funk-filled album from bassist Allen Carman. The album, cleverly titled Carmanology, is the bassist’s debut release and features some pretty stellar artists like saxman Andy Snitzer, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, guitarists Marc Antoine and Nile Rodgers, and trumpet legend Rick Braun, among others. It’s an album packed with that kick-in-the-door drive that announces one has arrived with some much sought-after musical “goods” – and does it ever deliver.

Considering that Carman grew up listening to Tower of Power, Weather Report (in general), and Jaco Pastorius (in particular), it’s no surprise that he has an affinity for funk and Weather Report.

While his musical career didn’t exactly explode with success initially, and he placed it on hold while returning to college to obtain a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a law degree from Rutgers U, he bounced back to resume music with Saisse and percussionist Gumbi Ortiz and form The Allen Carman Project.

Carman says, “I always felt like I was a musician first and that was always my true passion. The whole ‘Carmanology’ experience has been a blast and has far exceeded my expectations.” Not as many artists as you might think can say that. Kudos are in order.

The album is thick with funky grooves made possible by some really solid bass lines, great keys, guitar, and horn work. It’s a refreshing project that, while funk lays down a firm foundation, a steady jazz groove is very much in the overall picture.

Check out, for starters, the lead track “Groove Salad,” “Hearsay,” “State of Mine,” the bossa-flavored ”Carisma,” “Morning After,” and the title track. All of these are perfectly presented gems balanced on the back of funk (except for the exotic “Carisma” with its Brazilian touch). More follow and carry their own unique identity, including a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River.” Eclectic, yes. Funky, definitely. Creative, for sure. A well-presented debut that should place Carman clearly on everyone’s radar. – Ronald Jackson