TOWER OF POWER — Step Up

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TOWER OF POWER - Step Up cover
3.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2020

Filed under Funk
By TOWER OF POWER

Tracklist

1 East Bay, All The Way! 0:54
2 Step Up 5:10
3 The Story Of You And I 4:48
4 Who Would Have Thought 3:58
5 Addicted To You 4:45
6 Look In My Eyes 3:45
7 You Da One 4:23
8 Sleeping With You Baby 5:43
9 If It's Tea Give Me Coffee 3:16
10 Beyond My Wildest Dreams 3:22
11 Any Excuse Will Do 4:43
12 If You Wanna Be A Winner 3:22
13 Let's Celebrate Our Love 4:36
14 East Bay! Oaktown All The Way! 1:08

Line-up/Musicians

Backing Vocals – Jerry Cortez (tracks: 1, 4, 7, 13, 14), Leah Meux (tracks: 2, 3, 5 to 7, 11, 13), Marcus Scott (tracks: 8, 11, 13), Melanie Jackson (tracks: 8, 10), Ray Greene (tracks: 2, 3, 5 to 7, 9 to 12), Tiwana Porter (tracks: 2, 3, 5 to 7, 11, 13)
Baritone Guitar – Jerry Cortez (tracks: 2, 6, 11)
Baritone Saxophone – Stephen "Doc" Kupka
Bass – Francis Rocco Prestia
Bass Saxophone – Chuck Hansen (tracks: 12)
Drums – David Garibaldi
Electric Organ [Hammond B3 Organ] – Roger Smith (tracks: 1 to 5, 7 to 14)
Flugelhorn – Adolfo Acosta (tracks: 4 to 6), Sal Cracchiolo (tracks: 4, 6)
Keyboards – Roger Smith (tracks: 6, 9, 13)
Keyboards, Percussion [Additional Percussion] – Joe Vannelli
Lap Steel Guitar – Jerry Cortez (tracks: 8)
Lead Vocals – Emilio Castillo (tracks: 6, 11), Marcus Scott (4) (tracks: 3, 8, 13), Ray Greene (tracks: 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12), Roger Smith (tracks: 7)
Leader [Bandleader], Tenor Saxophone [2nd Tenor Sax], Backing Vocals – Emilio Castillo
Marimba – Joe Vannelli (tracks: 13), Ray Greene (tracks: 13)
Rhythm Guitar – Jerry Cortez
Sitar [Electric Sitar] – Jerry Cortez (tracks: 4)
Slide Guitar – Jerry Cortez (tracks 3, 6, 9)
Soloist, Alto Saxophone [Alto Sax Solo] – Tom Politzer (tracks: 3, 11)
Soloist, Drums – David Garibaldi (tracks: 14)
Soloist, Electric Organ – Roger Smith (tracks: 1 to 3)
Soloist, Flugelhorn – Adolfo Acosta (tracks: 8)
Soloist, Guitar – Jerry Cortez (tracks: 2, 3, 6, 10, 14)
Soloist, Tenor Saxophone – Tom Politzer (tracks: 1, 4 to 6, 8 to 10, 12 to 14)
Soloist, Trumpet – Adolfo Acosta (tracks: 1, 14), Sal Cracchiolo (tracks: 9)
Tenor Saxophone [1st Tenor Saxophone] – Tom Politzer
Timbales – David Garibaldi (tracks: 1, 7, 12)
Trombone – Ray Greene
Trumpet – Adolfo Acosta, Sal Cracchiolo
Twelve-String Guitar – Jerry Cortez (tracks: 2)
Vibraphone [Vibes] – Joe Vannelli (tracks: 3, 5, 6, 10)
Violin, Cello – ToP Strings (tracks: 4, 5, 8)

About this release

Artistry Music ‎– ART7067CD (US)

Recorded At Blue Moon Studio & Track Shack Studio, Sacramento, CA

Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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TOWER OF POWER STEP UP reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Tower Of Power were a true giant of funk in the seventies, and even if they celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2018, they are not going to slow down. Their previous release "Soul Side of Town" was a perfect one, presenting rich sound of funky brass band with excellent vocals and quality songwriting. From very first seconds, their most current album "Step Up" sounds as continuation of that previous one, and it's not strange at all.

The opener "East Bay! All the Way!" jumps right on the dance floor but unexpectedly disappears after less than a minute (very same way as on their previous album). What comes after is "Tower Of Power" at their best - beautiful vocal harmonies, memorable tunes and groovy perfectly arranged music, on the level of their best releases, coming from the 70s.

Under the skin, new album is not actually all that new - it contains solely tracks from the same sessions which gave us their previous release, "Soul Side of Town". Then, its pros and cons lay right in its origin. The material is surprisingly strong since we're speaking about the album of outtakes, some songs are possibly even stronger than some numbers included in "Soul Side of Town". From the other hand, there are no visible difference in sound, arrangements or compositions between current and the previous release. "Step Up" could easily be a second half of imaginary double "Soul Side of Town" set.

Both albums represent best funk and groovy r'n'b coming right from the 70s, the genre's golden age. After many line-up changes, the band still is rooted in their founders Emilio Castillo lead vocals/tenor sax and Stephen ‘Doc’ Kupka bari, and the full sound of a twelve-piece band with some guests. There is no particular use of electronics, and no traces of more modern arrangements, but for fans of big sound of funk/r'n'b bands from 70s, (like Earth,Wind & Fire), this music is a real pleasure. If you like it that way, and still didn't listen to "Soul Side of Town", better start there. If you already like "Soul Side of Town", take "Step Up" for another doze of excellent music.

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