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Usually when artists call a new recording a “joint,” they’re using generic urban slang for “project” – but in the case of True Confirmation, a powerful vocal/instrumental contemporary urban jazz collection billed by its producers as a “Painted Phunk/Los Hermanos joint,” it’s truly a joint venture, an explosive, wildly funky collaboration between old friends who just happen to be two of Detroit’s most dynamic and versatile musicians.
Bassist/vocalist Dave Henderson, who calls his group “Painted Phunk” after his longtime day job as a house painter, first met keyboardist/arranger Gerald Mitchell (leader of the popular house-techno-groove band Los Hermanos) in the 90’s when they were members of the Lamborghini – a Detroit based funk band that also developed a following in Windsor, Ontario. Foundational members of the 80’s club scene in Detroit, they were also members of the band Debonair. The two went their own ways for a number of years, with Mitchell touring internationally with Los Hermanos and also as a performer and DJ with the techno group Underground Resistance while Henderson played bass on sessions and live for a wide variety of pop, funk, R&B, gospel, jazz, fusion, Motown revue and techno acts. In 2006, they met up again and played on guitarist Dee Brown’s critically acclaimed indie release No Time To Waste, which Mitchell also co-produced.
After that project, Henderson—who has also toured with Los Hermanos– approached Mitchell with some tracks he had been working on that he thought might work well for other artists. As Mitchell recalls, “One track led to two and then a third, and soon we noticed a different vibe from what we created with Dee and decided to put a band together and record more”. The first three tracks were “White Sands of Ft. Myers”, “River Walk” and “Dezie’s Playing”, named after the newly formed band’s alto and tenor saxman “Dezie McCullers, Jr. “River Walk”, the first single from True Confirmation, is already popular on various online and overseas radio outlets.
Over a period of time, some of which included producing by sharing digital files when Mitchell was touring in Japan or Europe, Henderson and Mitchell realized they were creating a fresh, exciting style blending old school funk and fresh contemporary grooves. They began to collaborate on more songs and put together an explosive band to realize their evolving vision that became not just a multi-faceted 16 track collection, but a ‘True Confirmation’ that they were creating something special.
In addition to Henderson and Mitchell, the distinctly Detroit bred group includes Henderson’s younger brother Lloyd Dwayne – an extraordinary singer and arranger who sings backup for, among other artists, R&B star Kem. Multi-instrumentalist, Paul Dozier (music director for Karen Briggs & Gail Jhonson) and Piranha Head join in on lead and rhythm guitars, drummer/percussionist Eric Joe and Mitchell’s brother, vocalist Thornell who takes lead on “For Adults Only”.
There’s a good reason that the snappy, feisty funk driven opening track of True Confirmation is called “Dezie’s Playing”— saxophonist Dezie McCullers Jr.’s fiery horn blends perfectly with the old school fusion, and he stands out with a blazing solo. The “Joint” then transports us to the “White Sands of Ft. Myers” for a romantic breeze through tropical funk territory, with a soulful vocal reminding us that we shouldn’t wait till tomorrow to do what we can do tonight. McCullers is also a leading force on the brassy and strutting, mid-tempo first single “River Walk”, which is followed by the dreamy, romantic “Then I’ll Know”, a “needing reassurance” love song featuring Lloyd Dwayne on lead vocals textured seamlessly with L’Rnee’s backing vocals. The playful interlude “Leave a Message” is Henderson and Mitchell’s clever way of telling people that they may have ignored a call or two while immersed in this project – all over a funky rolling groove. “Want It Back” begins with a shuffling synth groove and trippy atmospheres, and then floats a trumpet over a thick, raw industrial funk groove, which paves the way for an edgy, brassy funk jam. The tune also features Christina Perez L.’s spoken vocals.
The title track “True Confirmation” begins with thunder and dreamy atmospheres, which lead into a soulful late night romance with Dwayne’s soaring vocals saying it ‘feels like heaven.’ Getting more playful, “For Adults Only” rolls with a lively samba groove featuring textured Take 6-like vocals, lively flute and an amusing story of a steamy romance. “In Flyt” simulates a plane taking off, then digs into a deep bass pocket groove with brass flourishes – ultimately becoming a funky jam with McCuller’s vibrant sax taking the lead. “Playmate” is another sexy late night tune texturing male and female vocals into a passion play full of thick bass and dreamy old school synth textures. After the old school Fender Rhodes led jam “I Say Us”, the band informs us “I Know Where To Find Love”, an easy grooving vocal ballad of passionate discovery.
“Reaching” is jangling, thumping divine discofied madness, while “Truth Seekers” keeps that old school bouncy funk going as McCuller’s soulful, low toned sax engages in a colorful repartee with Henderson’s bass. Finally, Henderson, Mitchell and the gang pay beautiful homage to the late great Greg Dokes with the silky closer “Calm Down,” featuring Mitchell seeming to channel the legend’s whimsical synth runs, varied tones and soaring choruses of sax and synth.
FOR BOOKINGS & MEDIA CONTACT:
Dave Henderson (313) 989-8676 or firstname.lastname@example.org