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Published: 2012/02/03

The Dap-Kings and The Impressions Collaborate Onstage and in the Studio

Above: A glimpse of last night’s show by Jay Cleary. Below: A look at The Impressions’ Daptone sessions via their Facebook page

Legendary Chicago soul group The Impressions are currently in Brooklyn recording at Daptone Studios with longtime Dap-Kings guitarist Binky Griptite. While in Brooklyn, The Impressions—known to many as the band that introduced to the world to Curtis Mayfield—played one of the final shows at the Park Slope club Southpaw. The night as billed featured The Impressions backed by Binky Griptite and the DeeKay’s as well as DJ sets from Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Dj Pari and DJ Honky & Mr. Robinson. Griptite and an assortment of Daptone family members opened the show with a brief set before The Impressions joined them onstage. The DeeKay’s brought together most of The Dap-Kings current lineup as well as associates like Antibalas keyboardist—and onetime Dap-King—Victor Axelrod and Though/Mike Gordon collaborator Miwi Lalupa.

As musicians have come and gone from the Dap-Kings’ lineup, the group itself has morphed into something of a super group featuring many notable players from the jam, groove and improvisational scenes. Last night’s Dap-Kings onhand included onetime Robert Walter’s 20th Congress saxophonist Cochmea “Cheme” Gastelum, Pimps of Joytime bassist Hagar Ben Ari and Charlie Hunter/Deep Banana Blackout drummer Eric Kalb, among others. The ensemble backed the The Impressions on a number of their best known songs, including “People Get Ready,” “Mighty Mighty” and “It’s Alright,” as well as Mayfield’s “Superfly” and “Move on Up.” The Impressions also discussed the surreal experience of hearing President Obama accept the Democratic nomination to one of their songs.

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