Ghost-Note – Mustard n’ Onions (ENG review)

Mack avenue - Street date April 19th 2024
Ghost-Note - Mustard n' Onions

At a time when the world of funk music often tends to lose itself in rock/ electro trends, which in my view completely spoils this artistic form, Ghost Note remains rooted in tradition while offering a very modern funk. Since 2014, drummer/ conductor Robert Sput Searight and percussionist Nate Werth have led an incredible collective of musicians coming together as a groove-based funk, hip-hop, and jazz group, gathering a global audience. With “Mustard n’Onions” – the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Swagism” in 2018 – the group takes funk to new heights featuring bassist MonoNeon (Prince), keyboardist Dominique Xavier Taplin (Toto), saxophonist/arranger Sylvester “Sly5thave” Onyejiaka, and others, alongside special guest and legendary keyboardist Bernard Wright, making for a very strong team for an explosive album!

We are especially pleased to see this group joining our friends at Mack Avenue, as the quality of this group makes it a true reference that stands proudly alongside TOP, who has also long been with Mack Avenue. Of course, the drum parts are absolutely sublime, and the brass arrangements could make Earth, Wind & Fire pale in comparison. With sixteen original compositions, perfectly arranged, one can easily imagine the stage performance, and it is probably one of the most beautiful funk albums I have had in my hands in recent years. Thus, we find the very foundations of what funk music is, which, in my view, is often as complex as jazz but also more accessible due to its rhythms and more popular and less hermetic codes. It is also interesting to see what musicians from such diverse backgrounds have brought to this album, and this is probably what makes it all the more interesting, with personalities from the rock scene bringing a welcome dynamism, and the level of all these musicians is such that it is impossible to be bored with this album, which is brimming with inventiveness in the arrangements.

Obviously, such an album is tailor-made for the biggest festivals and will be just as well received at funk music festivals as at jazz festivals. In both cases, audiences can easily be won over. This album is therefore very warmly recommended by both the Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move editorial teams.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 28th 2024


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Album credits

  1. JB’s Out! (Do It Babay) feat. Mackenzie 6:43
  2. Move With a Purpose feat. Karl Denson 3:29
  3. Where’s Danny? 3:04
  4. Origins feat. Keith Anderson 6:58
  5. PoundCake feat. Casey Benjamin 5:17
  6. Phatbacc 3:43
  7. Grandma’s Curtains feat. Eric Gales 8:56
  8. Revival Island feat. Travis Toy & Mark Lettieri 5:19
  9. Yellow Dan feat. Marcus Miller 6:25
  10. Bad Knees 4:41
  11. Synesthesia 7:33
  12. Slim Goodie 6:35
  13. Mustard n’Onions feat. Jay Jennings 6:15
  14. Origins Reprise 3:20
  15. Nard’s Right feat. Bernard Wright 1:06

Band Members:
Robert Sput Searight – drums, keys
Nate Werth – percussion
MonoNeon – bass, rhythm guitar
Peter Knudsen – guitar
Dominique Xavier Taplin – keys
Vaughn “VKeys” Henry – keys
Sylvester “Sly5thave” Onyejiaka – bari sax, tenor sax
Mike Jelani Brooks – tenor sax
Jonathan Mones – alto sax, flute
Danny Wytanis – trombone

String Section :
Sylvester “Sly5thave” Onyejiaka – conductor, arranger
Carlos Roberto Gándara García – violin I
Israel Torres Araiza – violin II
Anna Arnal Ferrer – viola
Salomón Guerrero Alarcón – cello