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Projekt Management – DJ Williams Projekt

Harmonized Records 22

I’m not a fan of DJs. Not with a band. DJ Olive is cool (check out what he’s done with illy B et al.), and the dude from Jurassic 5 is nasty (are Jurassic 5 a band?) but I just don’t think it works. So I never checked out the DJ Williams Projekt.

My bad, though. Because DJ Williams is not a DJ. He plays guitar. And his Projekt, from Richmond, VA, is more or less a jazz/funk unit in the style of, say, the Greyboy Allstars or Addison Groove Project.

So don’t judge a band by its name (like I did). Judge them by Projekt Management, out now on Harmonized Records (home to fellow jazz/funkers The Motet and Garaj Mahal).

Just try to overlook the trio of vocal tunes that made their way onto Management. That way, you can grade the Projekt pretty highly (lyrically, these guys have a ways to go).

Because the rest of their album is one slammin’, downtempo funk odyssey after another. Horns moan, guitars slink by, drums pound. It’s everything you asked for.

And more, if you count the clavinet solo on “Soul Sold Separately.” It’s unclear whether Projekt keyboardist Brian Mahne or guest Daniel Clarke is responsible for this chunk of funk, but you’ll be rockin’ when you hear it.

Just save some rock for “C.A.K.E.,” a thick slice of Soulive babka if ever I heard/tasted one. And save some for “4th Street,” where Gordon Jones makes it hot on tenor sax. You’ll be glad you did.

You’ll be glad, too, that you checked out the DJ Williams Projekt. It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’ roll, but Donald Jeffrey can make it there.

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