You know when you hear one of Prince’s funk songs, for example ‘Musicology’, and wish that all of his songs were like that? In fact you wish they were instrumentals with cool guitar melodies and solos playing over the top? In that case may I recommend to you Aleks Sever’s album ‘Danger Girl‘!. This album is full of the funkiest instrumental guitar music I’ve heard in a long, long time. If Larry Carlton, Prince and Robben Ford were to somehow conceive a child together Aleks would be that Telecaster weilding woman. The last time I got so excited about a funk album was when I heard Quantic Soul Orchestra’s ‘Pushin On’ back in 2005.
There aren’t many female funk guitarists around let alone someone of this calibre and I’m mentioning that Aleks is female because it’s a fact, she is, but it shouldn’t matter and it doesn’t. Aleks’ playing is exceptional, her phrasing is glorious and her tone sublime. From the opening track ‘Showtime‘ I knew I was in for a treat with it’s laid back funk groove and Aleks’ Robben Ford-esque guitar tones playing smooth Jazzy and Bluesy phrases. There are another couple of slow groovers that I really love too, one is ‘Wild Love‘ with the throbbing Hammond keeping things bubbling along like a Beastie Boys instrumental and chewy guitar licks that will make every guitarist stop and listen. Another great track for me is ‘Silhouette‘ which has a slightly more traditional Jazz feel with it’s and super clean guitar tones in the verse sections and then the Dumble style overdrive tones for the chorus sections and solos. Aleks can definitely pull out classic Jazz licks but they are intertwined into her own melodies and phrases which makes this album so enjoyable to listen to.
My favourite track on the album ‘Joker‘ is the kind of track you can imagine working over one of Prince’s electro beats, it has the James Brown style ryhthm licks happening panned hard left and right while the main guitar track plays the main melody backed up by Hammond Organ which gives the tone extra body. The middle section seriously makes you want to get out of your seat, actually most of the album does. The title track ‘Danger Girl‘ is another track that sounds Prince inspired and has memorable melodies played with the soul and feel of someone who has been playing for decades, I can see why this album has the support of such notable musicians as Lee Ritenour, Buzz Feiten and Dave Koz.
The band assembled for this album is outstanding featuring Oscar Seaton on drums (Lionel Richie), Melvin Lee Davis on bass (Lee Ritenour), Deron Johnson on keys (Miles Davis, Alanis Morissette), sax player Brandon Fields (Quincy Jones, Elton John, Robben Ford), Walt Fowler (Frank Zappa, Ray Charles) on trumpet and Nick Lane (The Who, Tom Petty, Rod Stewart, Maynard Ferguson) on trombone. ‘Danger Girl‘ was produced by multi-platinum producer Matthew Hager (Mindi Abair, Simply Red), recorded at “The Lair Studios” and “76 Steps Music” in Los Angeles.
‘Danger Girl‘ had me hooked on first listen and I’ve gone back to it again and again and again, I love listening to funk and it has been a long time since I’ve found the perfect blend of Funk/Jazz/Blues and Rock, this album is definitely one of my favourite releases of 2012 so far so make sure you check out Aleks Sever’s website http://www.alekssever.com/ for more info and check out the video below to hear Alek’s playing some of the tracks from her album Danger Girl live.