Egyptian Secrets (Limited Gatefold)
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Adam Deitch reportedly took five years to make his new jazz album, yet most of the tracks were recorded in just one or two takes, without effects or other post-production. Why it took so long, then, is a valid question. The only plausible answer is that the drummer for Lettuce and Break Science, and generally a very busy guy who does whole bunch of other stuff, just really wanted to get it right.
And he did -each track on this quartet session, which also includes a core band of Wil Blades on Hammond organ plus Lettuce saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and Lettuce trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom, is masterfully conceived and performed, yet feels raw and natural, devoid of the sparkly touches that mar so many recordings made by finnicky perfectionists.
Egyptian Secrets could have been recorded live in a local bar - it’s the sound of a working band - and that’s a good thing. Deitch dedicates the collection to Idris Muhammad, the late New Orleans-born drummer whose funky beats helped bridge the gap between jazz, funk and R&B in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Deitch, too, relishes making connections, evident on tracks like the opening “Dot Org,” which finds the quartet paying homage to the classic soul-jazz of the Muhammad era while staying entirely rooted in the contemporary world. A few tracks add the guitar of John Scofield to the mix, among them the scorching “Art Bar,” the very definition of a funky good time.