Spocket’s self-titled and first release represents the best in funk rock coming from the younger side of the Chicago jazz scene. It manages to be clean and slick without being over-produced and gimmicky. The horn players are tight as a section yet speak with pronounced individual voices when called upon to do so, and the rhythm section is a single fluid entity roiling beneath the melodies, both predetermined and improvised.
The album starts strong on “Foxin” which features a tasty solo by trombonist Josh Torrey along with his phat sound and his singing through the horn while playing. Being a guitar-driven funk group, the door has been left wide open for keyboardist Carl Kennedy to lay his personal stamp on this album, and at every turn, you feel his presence. With his groovier-than-thou organ solo on “Purple Camo” and his smart harmonies on “Boomski”, Kennedy knows the perfect moment to come to the fore and when to be more felt than heard. Spocket close out strong with a slow build capped off by a soaring melody delivered raucously over and over again.
With many similar jazz/funk rock outfits on the Chicago scene, Spocket easily stands out as one of the more polished and downright fun to dance to groups. They certainly had the crowd moving at their release show at Schuba’s, and I look forward to grooving along with them at future shows.