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CD REVIEW: Second Movement - Second Movement
By Chip Withrow - 10/02/2006 - 11:16 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Second Movement
Album: Second Movement
CD Review: Maybe I just don’t look and listen in the right places, but I don’t hear enough funk. So it’s karmic when a disc like Second Movement’s self-titled CD comes my way. The groove here is tight enough to make you dance, but the band can also veer off into wild and exploratory places.

The opening number, “Featherweight,” percolates from a nasty electric piano- and drum-led intro into a catchy sax hook. Keyboardist Thomas Shaw caught my ear here, first on his solo and then on his support behind David Caputo’s second sax solo.

Another track in this vein, but even heavier, is “Moonlight Weightbelt.” Drummer Matthew Tredwell throws down a serious beat, and after Caputo’s wild, squawking first solo the band locks into some meaty ensemble work.

Often, I imagine what a band’s live performance would be like as I listen to a disc, and I think “Featherweight” would make a great opener and “Moonlight” a fine closer to a show.

One of the early rock and roll pioneers, maybe Buddy Holly, once said that jazz is “strictly for stay at homes.” Well, several numbers on this album drift more toward jazz than funk, and while I can sit still and listen to those tunes, as an audience member I would prefer not to. On “Spellbound,” for example, Caputo, Shaw, and guitarist Mark Hanna all kill on spiraling, just-this-side-of-out-of-control solos.

“Between the Sheets” and “Anything But Reason” offer more of a laid-back soul groove. On “Reason,” Hanna delivers another remarkable solo, and Justin Kimmel steps out on bass.

“Ev’ry Man a King” is a fun number, with a sax riff than reminds me of a guy bopping down the street with a big, goofy grin on his face. It also brings to mind some great soul hits from the ‘70s, maybe something by Rufus. And then it jumps the tracks into a tension-building finale anchored by Tredwell.

The CD closes with a showcase, “Mid-February Stress Test.” Everything cool about Second Movement is thrown in here. Guys, make this song available on your web site.

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