Hot Buttered Review
By Greg Beets
HOT BUTTERED RHYTHM
AUGUST 11, 1997:
On Hot Buttered Soul, the Isaac Hayes landmark
that begat this band in name and spirit, there's a funk mini-symphony with a relentless
hook called "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic," a title that, loosely
translated, means "no wank, all groove." Surprisingly enough, the same
holds true for Hot Buttered Rhythm's debut, a 13-track, 63-minute, mostly live jam
that's all about contemporary mood, finesse, and style -- without the self-righteous
masturbation that typically clouds similar collections of pure "players."
In fact, the album could be titled Hot Buttered Restraint. From "Conception"
to "Celebration," this is a set that not only swings and grooves like the
modern jazz/funk it is so ambitiously patterned after, but also one that glides between
smart solo passages and the shifting sections where emphasis is placed on dual drums,
keyboards, or bass approaches. Best of all, the live production sparkles, with nary
a buried or muffled note. And while there are a few grooves on "Butter and the
Beast" and "Black Cat" that lie in danger of being overstitched and
snapped, more often the subtle jazz aesthetics and grand funk theatrics create legitimate
conflict, compromise, and cooperation, which in itself constitutes enough for an
interesting, and astonishingly tight debut.
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