Step Up

“Look In My Eyes”

(Mack Avenue Records)

Oakland’s Tower of Power has been cranking out its signature brand of horn-driven soul and funk for more than 50 years and is still going strong. Although they’ve refreshed their membership several times over the decades, the group remains under the leadership of their founder, tenor saxophonist and vocalist Emilio Castillo. Longtime baritone saxophonist Doc Kupka also continues to anchor the famed horn section with his raunchy low notes. While original ToP bassist Rocco Prestia has retired from the road, he still makes the recording sessions, as he did for their latest release, Step Up (Mack Avenue). Prestia also co-wrote the funky R&B groover “Look in My Eyes,” included here, which spotlights Castillo’s greasy tenor horn and growling vocals along with backing singers Leah Meux and Tiwana Porter. With the horns spanking and the rhythm section churning up a nasty backbeat, ToP is in top form.

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The Authoritative Voice in Jazz

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