Turkuaz and the New Mastersounds Bring the Funk to Terminal 5

November 29th, 2016

Dave Brandwein (vocals and guitar) and Taylor Shell (bass) formed the nine-piece funk orchestra Turkuaz—rounded out by Craig Brodhead (guitar and synths), Chris Brouwers (trumpet and keys), Greg Sanderson (sax), Joshua Schwartz (sax and vocals), Michelangelo Carubba (drums), Sammi Garett (tambourine and vocals) and Shira Elias (vocals)—in 2008. Mixing Funk, R&B and Motown with world-music flourishes, Turkuaz (above, performing “Chatte Lunatique” at this year’s Mountain Jam) take cues from bands like Parliament, Sly and the Family Stone and Talking Heads. Their most recent album, Digitonium (stream it below), which came out last year, “showcases the band’s deep playbook and versatility within the genre, dialing back the clock for a classic-sounding funk record,” according to Live for Live Music. It’s filled with the psychedelic funk and brassy soul that’s become one of the funk army’s calling cards.

Turkuaz are currently touring the country with another like-minded band, the New Mastersounds. Simon Allen (drums), Eddie Roberts (guitar), Pete Shand (bass) and Joe Tatton (keys) may hail from Leeds in the U.K., but they have a decidedly old school soul- and jazz-influenced funk sound reminiscent of an instrumental version of the Meters. At the end of their 2015 tour, the New Mastersounds (below, doing “All Wrapped Up” on this year’s Jam Cruise) recorded 10 songs from their catalog plus a cover live in front of an audience at a Nashville, Tenn., recording studio, released earlier this year as The Nashville Session (stream it below), which finds the band “tighter than ever, and at a creative peak,” according to AllMusic. “If you find yourself sitting still while it’s playing, it may be well past time to get your pulse checked.” Your pulse will be racing when Turkuaz and the New Mastersounds play Terminal 5 on Friday night.