Album Review: Sax Quartet The Quadraphonnes Get the Funk Out! on Latest Album

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It’s not every day you come across an all-female saxophone band, but then again, The Quadraphonnes are no ordinary group of musicians. Their latest album Get the Funk Out! (2014) proves that. Over the past eight years, the Portland-based quartet’s synthesis came from a shared love of music, particularly of their revered saxophone and all its variations, as well as the ability to create beautiful music and have a unique vibe about them. One member said, “We all love the saxophones more than anything. What started out as a casual ‘for fun’ group grew into an opportunity to play out and entertain when we realized that we worked so well together.”

The feminine foursome, along with their backing band, are most often compared to Tower of Power and Rebirth Brass Band, and this comparison rings out on their latest album, Get the Funk Out! The 11-track album is funky beyond belief from the very first, title track, which is a picture-perfect kickoff for the album as a whole and sets the stage for the rest of the tracks to come.

The Quadrophonnes
The Quadrophonnes

On the next track, “New Orleans Mood,” the title aptly describes the atmosphere set by both the rhythm and interwoven higher-octave saxophone melodies that overlay the solid baritone sax bass line. The percussion is light and upbeat in the New Orleans jazz tradition with sax lines that wail in the exuberant way that New Orleans jazz and brass bands sing out in hometown performances.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong (with a Manicure and Champagne)?” takes the energy down a notch with a more laidback baritone sax line that’s joined by harmonic melodies in the upper saxophone range. About midway through the track, the baritone and alto saxophones solo simultaneously, their melodies meeting up for brief interludes and then falling back into their own groove, finally joining each other for a brief moment of haywire before the rest of the saxes and vocals join in on the fun.

On “Like a Tiger,” the vocals assume a starring role more than on many of the other tracks. For a good portion of the track, the saxophones take more of a background position as the backing band takes the lead in supporting the lyrics and main melody. But no song from The Quadraphonnes would be complete without bursts of saxophone licks sprinkled in between verses, so really, the saxophones always remain a fixture even when the band features another set of instruments and sounds.

On a few tracks, the album also features guest musicians like guitarist Jennifer Batton, who is formerly Michael Jackson’s guitarist, and percussionist Mike Snyder, who recorded on all the Mel Brooks soundtracks, Little Mermaid and Home Improvement.

All in all, The Quadraphonnes have released a funktastic album that’ll bring a slick groove to any listening session. This is the kind of band that even if you can’t catch them live, you can’t help but find yourself getting down in the comfort of your own home.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.quadraphonnes.com

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