LETTUCE

Funk Jazz / Fusion • United States
Jazz music community with review and forums
LETTUCE picture
One of the pioneering jam bands, Lettuce has mostly been a part-time if very influential venture since it was first formed in 1992. The band originally came together at the Berklee College of Music where all of its members first met at a summer music program while they were teenagers. Comprised of guitarists Eric Krasno and Adam Smirnoff, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonists Sam Kiniger and Ryan Zoidis, bassist Erick Coomes and drummer Adam Deitch, the musicians listened to records together and jammed constantly, developing their own sound during the summer. They had a reunion in 1994 when they returned to Berklee as undergrads. Because they often asked to sit in at local clubs (asking “Will you let us play”) the name Lettuce stuck. Once the group became more established, they sold tapes at their engagements and made recordings for the Japanese Velour label: 2001’s Outta Here and 2003’s Live In read more...
Thanks to silent way for the addition and snobb for the updates

LETTUCE Online Videos

See all LETTUCE videos

Buy LETTUCE music

More places to buy metal & LETTUCE music

LETTUCE Discography

LETTUCE albums / top albums

LETTUCE Outta Here album cover 3.91 | 2 ratings
Outta Here
Funk Jazz 2002
LETTUCE Rage! album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Rage!
Funk Jazz 2008
LETTUCE Fly album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Fly
Funk Jazz 2012
LETTUCE Crush album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Crush
Funk Jazz 2015
LETTUCE Elevate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Elevate
Funk Jazz 2019
LETTUCE Resonate album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Resonate
Funk Jazz 2020

LETTUCE EPs & splits

LETTUCE Mt. Crushmore album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mt. Crushmore
Funk Jazz 2017

LETTUCE live albums

LETTUCE Live in Tokyo album cover 4.16 | 4 ratings
Live in Tokyo
Funk Jazz 2004
LETTUCE Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
Fusion 2017

LETTUCE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LETTUCE re-issues & compilations

LETTUCE singles (0)

LETTUCE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

LETTUCE Reviews

LETTUCE Live in Tokyo

Live album · 2004 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
darkshade
This is where the real Lettuce sound comes from: the live show. This band is impressive in the studio, and I think all their studio albums are essential jazz-funk listening, but there's something else going on here on this live album. The grooves are faster, the solos are nasty, the jazz is cranked up, and you can tell everyone is having a great time. This album just makes me feel so good; the grooves just run through my body. I have to give it to Sam Kininger on this one, he really rips it down on his alto sax. He's really channeling Michael Brecker with that nasty 70s sound.

Ive seen this band live myself, and they really are this good, maybe even better now as this show is from their debut album "Outta Here" tour, as most of the songs here are from that album. Nevertheless, every song here is hot fire, the guitars are particularly fierce, guitarists Adam Smirnoff and band leader Eric Krasno duel it out with some great Pat Martino-styled riffs on top of the tightest grooves this side of the year 2000. Adam Deitch lays down some of the fastest funk drumming I've ever heard, you have to hear the pyrotechnical insanity for yourself.

There is no need to highlight any tracks, as ever song here smokes. Just do yourself a favor, if you have even the slightest interest in funk or jazz-funk, get this album as fast as you can. You'll be so glad you did.

LETTUCE Fly

Album · 2012 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
darkshade
It's been 4 years since Rage! came out, and here we are in 2012 with a long awaited new Lettuce album, titled "Fly". I pretty much got into the band around the time their last album came out, so Ive been waiting the whole 4 years for this album to come out. When it got announced, I was a little worried that it would be Rage! Part 2, which wouldn't be so bad, but it might have been more of the same. Luckily, Lettuce's third album is once again it's own album with it's own sound. The production is a little dirtier than the last album, but still crystal clear. The sound is as tight as ever, but there's new things going on. The band worked on different set ups for where the instruments would be mixed and panned, which is really noticeable when you listen on headphones; such as drums being on the left speaker, and horns soloing in the right, etc. This gives the sound a bit of a vintage sound, but Lettuce are no imitators, they bring in modern influences to their funky sound. This album sees the electronic influence rise, dare I say a dash of dub-step, something that hasn't been heard much before in Lettuce, not a lot, so don't be scared away. This is, of course, mixed with their legendary jazzy sound and a little hip-hop influence.

As I said before, this is not Rage! part 2, but a completely new monster. The album starts off, with a more laid-back than the previous two album openers, with the title track, a little reminiscent of James Brown's "I Feel Good" but funkier. Lots of spacey, delayed guitar and wah-ed out horns. The second track "Lettsanity" is fast and funky, a real bad-ass song; sounding like it came from the Rage! sessions, and is the closest this album comes to sounding like Rage! did. Nice sax solo.

From here on out, the band move into new territory. "Ziggowatt" is some heavy funk, the guitar, bass-organ, and bass playing in unison makes this a song that might blow out your sub-woofer, heh. Kind of reminds me of eric Krasno's other band, Soulive. Some rock-ish guitar solos here too. "Madison Square" shows a more melodic side of the band, seldom seen before, but still funky as hell. This song grooves, one of the best cuts here. The rhythms are crazy, which have an almost galloping feel. OH MAN the middle section is one of the coolest funk sections Ive heard in a long time. It demands your attention. Fast horn lines with drums and bass layin' it down, half time. The guitar is actually the glue here, playing fast lines, while comping some chords, and doubling the bass; all at the same time.

"Bowler" sees the band playing around with the panning of the instruments. horns on the right, drums on the left, guitar sort of in the middle. This is an interesting song, and introducing some real curve-ball chords. Very Meters-like. "Jack Flask" is another funk powerhouse. This is one of the more aggressive songs, great horns, almost reminds me of P-Funk mixed with Tower of Power.

The token vocal song "Do It Like You Do" is sung by guest Nigel Hall, who returns from guesting on Rage! but the vocal track is so short it doesn't really affect the flow of the album. One of the better vocals tracks from the band (none of them are bad though)

"Play" is another good funk song, though nothing crazy. Kind of a standard Lettuce song. "Let It GoGo" is another sort of standard Lettuce song, but a little better, with some tasty horns and excellent percussion work. Of course, standard Lettuce songs are still full of high energy playing and tight rhythms.

Next is the War cover "Slippin' Into Darkness". Probably not as good as the original, but hey, they still do the song with tons of energy, as is to be expected. Adam Deitch is really in the pocket on this one. Krasno returns for a mighty fine guitar solo

"The Crusher" sounds like what it says. A real slow, and I mean slow, funky tune, sometimes it seems like the beat drops tempo even more, and is almost experimental in the rhythm department. Sounds like a giant robot slowly trudging through a city, destroying buildings and such. This song is a real 'crusher'. Apocalyptic funk, if you will.

"Ghost of Jupiter" starts out the jazzy, but then the beat comes in, and reminds me of a dark, blacksploitation movie from the 70s, just has that feel.

The album ends on a high note, with one of the best songs on the album, "Monorail 3000". If you are familiar with The J.B.'s "Monorail", that's sort of what's going on. I don't think this is a cover, but it's reminiscent of the J.B.'s song. This is REAL FUNKY, some of the best kind. The bass is slick, the horns are blasting, and tight, like Miles Davis-tight. And speaking of Miles, a trumpet solo pops up here, the one instrument that hadn't had a chance to shine on this album until now; well better late than never. Everything works in this song. A good way to close out this album.

Whew, this review came out longer than I thought. Well, if you're still reading this, you must be interested in this album. I say get it, it's a great funk-jazz album. Not as good as the previous album "Rage!", but some of the better funk to come out in recent times. They do some new things, which is good, because all of the band's albums have their own special flavor. Every Lettuce album so far is amazing and essential for any jazz-funk or general funk collection. Fly with Lettuce.

LETTUCE Rage!

Album · 2008 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
darkshade
WOW! If you'd thought the last album was good, wait until you get a load of this. It took 6 years for "Rage!" to come out after the last album, but man, it was worth it. The sound is better and the rhythms are tighter (which I thought would be impossible). It's like the band is hungry to give us the best funk-jazz album.

This album is a funk onslaught!

The opening track is like this grande opening, you just know the band is going to lay it down. And they do. Every single song is funkier than the last, and I am not just saying that. It's like the first 2 songs are a warm up for the rest of the album, songs like King of the Burgs and Need To Understand keep the energy level going, with some feel-good tunes for that funky drive to the beach. But then you have songs like The Last Suppit; think Tower of Power's funky songs, but with an aggressive edge, and finger-lickin' good guitar playing. Relax is not what the title infers, this one is also a hot fire slice of funk, with a dash of hip-hop agressiveness thrown in for good measure.

Nigel Hall guests on keys and vocals on Makin' My Way Back Home, and while his voice is great, it is unfortunately the weakest track here, but the weakest among some of the tightest funk ever made is a compliment. The band also have the token cover of Curtis Mayfield's Move On Up, and while the band definitely do the song justice, they only do the "song" and don't go into the percussion break and big sax jam from the original, but still keeps the energy going, and is nicely done.

This album is absolutely essential to any jazz-funk fan, or funk fan in general. All the Lettuce albums are essential, but Rage! is the best one, in my opinion. It just hits all the right nerves for that funky good time you're craving. Sometimes you want some new funk to listen to besides the greats of the 60s and 70s; but not imitators. That's where Lettuce comes in, they keep the tradition of funk alive, but keeping it up with the 21st century, and moving the genre forward. Get... This... Album... and... RAGE!

LETTUCE Outta Here

Album · 2002 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
darkshade
Lettuce is one of the best modern funk bands today. This band is unlike most funk-jazz bands in the 21st century, in that, they are not necessarily just a tribute band to the 60s and 70s greats like James Brown (though who isn't influenced by Mr. Dynamite himself), P-Funk, Sly, etc. but are a band that really takes the genre of funk and push it forward with a little hip-hop influences in the beats, tight rhythm and crisp production, but with enough of a bite. Add to that one of the best horn sections around, and the excellent guitar work from Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno. His style is somewhere between Pat Martino and John Scofield, so you know it gets jazzy in here, but he also has his own sound that is easily discernible among the thousands of funk and jazz guitarists out there.

Now to the band's debut album "Outta Here". The band has actually been around since 1992, but it took 10 years for this album to arise out of the woodwork. But it's not like these guys weren't busy (Krasno had already established Soulive with fellow Lettuce member Neal Evans and his brother Alan), and Adam Deitch had been playing with the John Scofield Band for some time by the time this album came).

Things get off to a wonderful start with the opening title track, and the energy level never lets up. Every song is hot fire, even the token vocal track on Twisted. The music will make you move your head and body. this band just grooves no few bands do. You'd think after a few songs there would need to be a breather song somewhere, but Lettuce just pommel you with some of the tightest funk. It's almost aggressive and it never lets up, but that's fine. There is enough diversity in the sound for it not to get monotonous, going from straight funk, to jazz-fusion, to jazz-funk, to hip-hop inspired funk, there's a lot of great sounds here.

I mentioned John Scofield earlier, and he is here as a guest on a couple of tracks, particularly on The Flu, this track is more of a "darker" funk tune, more in line with jazz-fusion. This is a great track, and essential for Scofield fanatics. Excellent bass lines.

The band do a nice rendition of James Brown's "Superbad", titled "Superfred" here, with guest Fred Wesley providing some great trombone work. There is also a cover of Herbie Hancock's "Hang Up Your Hangups", and again, the band nail it, with some riveting solos that just make you want to get up and move.

Highly recommended for any jazz-funk fan, or funk fans in general. In fact, all their albums at the time of writing this (2012) are essential funk albums, as well as their live album Live In Tokyo. Get this and you will not be disappointed. One of the best debut albums from any band.

LETTUCE Live in Tokyo

Live album · 2004 · Funk Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
People who like their funky jazz with a lot of pyro-technical fusion type skills and high energy virtuoso solos will find much to like in this live album by Lettuce. Although Lettuce is often grouped with other acid jazz and jam bands that came up through the new century, they are much more skilled than their contemporaries and have more in common with classic funky fusion bands like The Brecker Brothers, early Billy Cobham and Tower of Power. After a brief intro number, second cut “Nyack” establishes what this band is capable of. As the different band members spin off rapid fire solos, the rest of the large ensemble engages in a dense interplay of syncopated figures that sounds like a tornado of interlocking rhythms. This band’s ability to have all members firing at once and not step on each other’s toes is remarkable. Just pick any moment in this song and listen to how busy every member is, its hard not to be impressed that this is the top live funk jazz act today.

Lettuce is a large and loose ensemble made up artists who are often active in other bands including John Scofield’s band and Soulive. For “Live in Tokyo” Lettuce has a three horn frontline backed by a rhythm section that includes two interlocking rhythm guitarists. All of the soloists are great, but alto saxophonist Sam Kininger stands out with his energetic punchy riffs that recall funk saxophone greats like Maceo Parker and Benny Maupin. On “The Dump”, he and tenor player Ryan Zoidis trade short solos that build to a feverish pitch. Lettuce’s use of two rhythm guitarists is very effective, on “Squadlive” they lay down infectious hooks that recall the classic sound of James Brown’s early 70s band.

If you like high energy funky fusion albums like Cobham’s “Shabazz” or Herbie’s “Thrust” album, you will probably enjoy this very remarkable live set.

LETTUCE Movies Reviews

No LETTUCE movie reviews posted yet.

LETTUCE Shouts

Please login to post a shout
GMs wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Live in Tokyo is an amazing album!!!try it!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Brandon Seabrook (w/ Cooper-Moore / Gerald Cleaver) : Exultations Jazz Related Improv/Composition
BRANDON SEABROOK
Buy this album from MMA partners
Touch & Go Vocal Jazz
SUSAN TOBOCMAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
Originations World Fusion
RYAN COHAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Gary Brunton "Night Bus" 83 Bis
GARY BRUNTON
js· 13 hours ago
Ridin' High
CLAUS RAIBLE
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us