Stanley Clarke, Superfonicos, Max Moran + Others: Five for the Road

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Stanley Clarke, Superfonicos and Max Moran are part of the latest edition of Five for the Road, an occasional look at music that’s been in my car lately …

JUAN DHAS – CATHARSIS (2018): I was unfamiliar with Bogata, Colombia-based jazz guitarist Juan Dhas until a friend mentioned his 2014 debut Embracing Clarity in a post. I was immediately captivated. His just-released new album Catharsis is even more striking. The self-produced collection of all original material showcases Dhas’ fluid guitar runs, excellent tones and sense of economy. Catharsis also showcases his skill as a writer and arranger. Recorded in one day in March, the album puts bassist Kike Harker, and drummers Ramon Berrocal and Jacobo Alverez in a wonderfully imaginative setting, creating sheer audio joy. Listen to the songs “Deeper Sprit” and “Story of Night” if you don’t believe me.

MAX MORAN & NEOSPECTRIC – MAX MORAN & NEOSPECTRIC (2016): New Orleans-based bassist Max Moran brings 10 original songs which combine his formidable jazz chops with a good dose of swampy down-home funk. Max Moran & Neospectric has groove for days, but does not forsake Moran’s arranging sensibilities nor his fine songwriting skills. The result is an unmistakeable and irresistible groove, which is built from a foundation of great songs by Moran. Add to this soloists like saxophonist Donald Harrison and guest Nicholas Payton on trumpet, and it’s a win-win. Check out “All Right” and “Far and Away,” but be prepared to dance.

DAVE ANDERSON – MELTING POT (2018): Saxophonist and bandleader David Anderson releases a thought-provoking, yet totally engaging set of songs which flies in the face of the xenophobia sweeping through parts of America. Melting Pot, out on September 14, 2018, features a cross section of international musicians who bring the needed heft to Anderson’s five compositions. The result is an album which is not only greater than the sum of its parts, but musically uplifting and socially relevant. Check out “Juror Number 1” and “A Candle for Isaac.”

SUPERFONICOS – SUELTA (2018): Austin-based Superfonicos brings a rich Afro-Colombian mix to the table on this new EP. Engineered by Adrian Quesda and Beto Martinez of the irrepressible Brownout, and led by bassist Nico Sanchez and guitarist Erick Bohorquez, Superfonicos provides lively, infectious grooves with memorable hooks and top-notch vocals. Check out “Rio Negro” and “Suelta” to see what I mean. Superfonico’s Suelta EP is set for release on October 5, 2018.

STANLEY CLARKE – THE MESSAGE (2018): Stanley Clarke has earned the right to stop making great music and rest on his considerable laurels. Yet with the bass icon’s latest album, it’s clear he still has something to say. Ever the mentor, Clarke takes his young band through a genre-shifting ride on The Message, with songs composed in just two days. “Combat Continuum” and “Lost in a World” are but taste of what this stellar album has to offer – and further proof of why Stanley Clarke is a national treasure.


Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Preston Frazier
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