Review Summary: Thanks to Potsy for introducing me to this fantastic record.
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, The Menahan Street Band is an instrumental Jazz Funk Sextet. Their music is a must have for anyone who is a fan of Jazz, Soul, or funk. Their debut album Make The Road By Walking was released in 2008 and has been criminally overlooked by the Sputnik nation, including myself.
While neither musician seems to set the house on fire in terms of playing (in my opinion the group takes a minimalistic approach to music), what they do very successfully is come together akin Captain Planet and produce a wonderful record which has something for every music fan. The Beats are Hip-Hop-esque and the horn sections will have Ska fans all over drooling like Bubbles from The Wire. The Simple melodies are woven to produce a laid back feel to the record which had me reclining deep in my favourite chair with no worries.
While not exactly being Ska Punk, there are sections here which bands like Street Light Manifesto would do well to pay attention to. Whether it's the funky up-beat chords from 'Make The Road By Walking' or the luscious acoustic work on 'Home Again!' they nail the all-round chill vibe which I would love to hear mixed with the heavier sections of Ska Punk.
Something worth noting is that Jay Z sampled the title track on his record American Gangsta in the song 'Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)...'. So hey, they must be doing something right.
My only gripe with the record is the minimalistic approach, which could put some people off. You are not going to hear anything to rival the musical muscle of Frank Zappa or Yes. But if you can take it for what it is, you won't be disappointed. This really is a gem.
Make The Road By Walking