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Published: 2003/11/28
by Glenn Alexander

Junk In The Trunk – Cadillac Jones

Harmonized Records 013

With Junk in the Trunk, we are introduced to a band of six white boys
playing jazz infused funk and jazz for a world in desperate need of a little
light-hearted booty-shakin’. As evidenced on the back cover of this album,
the band is not without a sense of irony. Looking at the group photo, we
are instantly directed to ask ourselves, "What on Earth could these
orange-clad, sweatsuit-wearers be capable of playing? Certainly
not smokin’ grooves and funky beats!". After this, we’re supposed to put
the CD in, become awash in thick grooves, tricked-out melodies, and
truncated jazz riffs, and then realize the hilarity of such an unseemly and
unpredictable pairing of craft and craftsmen. In reality, _Junk in the
Trunk_ proves to be more of an over-worked, over-zealous attempt at a
genre already past the point of saturation.

As evidenced on many of the album’s tracks, it is apparent that the band
doesn’t have trouble getting your ass moving right off the get-go. From the
punchy and edgy guitar-driven "Upper Decker" to the peppier yet sultry
"Adults Making Love,", Cadillac Jones exerts a real drive and stamina in
their music, but fails to overcome the limitations of the song’s structures
and familiar melodies. On "Giant Steps," Cadillac Jones attempts to put
their own stamp on the Coltrane classic, but end up falling quite short of
their goal. If you’re looking for a distinctive interpretation of a jazz
classic, look elsewhere.

With a talented collection of musicians on the album, they show a knack for
moving a song along powerfully and show a real ability to lay down the funk
pretty thick, but never provide songs that stand out as original pieces in
the jazz-funk idiom. One thing they do have going for them is an ability to
trade off between subtlety and ferocity. They’ve managed to create an album
which is eminently danceable, but much of what Cadillac Jones provides, one could
just as easily find elsewhere.

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