1 Booty Rock ( Price, Magnum Coltrane) 03:47
2 Riders On the Storm ( The Doors) 05:06
3 Mo Stuff ( Landgren, Nils / Svensson, Esbjörn) 04:35
4 Fonk Da World ( Landgren, Nils / Price, Magnum Coltrane / Svensson, Esbjörn) 04:54
5 Anytime Anywhere ( Svensson, Esbjörn / Landgren, Nils) 05:56
6 Rock It ( Hancock, Herbie) 02:53
7 Amtrak ( Price, Magnum Coltrane / Landgren, Nils) 04:29
8 Freedom Jazz Dance ( Harris, Eddie) 03:53
9 Le Sunset ( Nordenström, Jesper) 04:47
10 What's Up, What's Up ( Gabrielsson, Niklas) 04:45
11 From Stockholm To Bejing ( Landgren, Nils / Svensson, Esbjörn) 03:06
12 New Morning ( Svensson, Esbjörn) 03:57
13 Calvados ( Östlund, Robert / Engström, Ulf)
Nils Landgren, the man with the metallic-red lacquered trombone and this year’s head of the tradition-laden Berlin Jazz festival, calls his Funk Unit "the tightest band I’ve ever played with". Whoever has experienced a performance of the group knows what he means. The quintet’s teamwork is extraordinary, and the group swings with an impressive, relentless rhythmic drive that pushes the music forward in a continuous powerful flow. In a word, they groove. In innumerable appearances from Stockholm to Montrieux through Beijing they have consistently left a jubilant crowd in their wake. The crowd is elevated not only by an elemental rhythmic force that makes them want to shake their booties: Landgren is a master jazz instrumentalist who, with his subtle stylistically ever-changing solos, again and again lifts the wild, cavorting dance music up and onto the level of the concert stage.
The Funk Unit has been together for ten years. They celebrate the occasion with a CD whose name was always in the band’s basic program: "Fonk da World". Landgren’s expressed wish was not to have a summit meeting of the illustrious stars who have worked with the Funk Unit over the years, players such as Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, and the Brecker brothers to Till Brönner and Airto Moreira. For Landgren the aforementioned desire meant that the Funk Unit itself is the summit, thus the anniversary celebration must belong to the group alone. The motto: Funk Unit Pure. The only exception: three pieces that include an old traveling companion - pianist-composer- producer Esbjörn Svensson, who with his trio, EST, has recently experienced a meteoric Europe-wide rise to stardom. Besides Svensson, EST drummer Magnus Öström and alto saxophonist Per Ruskträsk Johannsson are included in the small "Guest Unit".
There won’t be any listeners posting missing band bulletins here. From the get-go the group achieves multi-hued richness and thrilling energetic presence that permeates all 13 tracks on this CD. With their mature, fantastically well-balanced sound, the group dazzles with funky stylistic cross-references. In an homage to the Doors, Morrison’s dark trade-mark hymn "Riders On the Storm" is transported to another world by way of pulsating rhythms and a rap interlude. The Herbie Hancock piece "Rock It" is hoisted up in straight, angular fashion over a heavy beat, while "Freedom Jazz Dance", which was written by the multi-talented hit-writer and instrument-inventor, jazzman Eddie Harris, leaves the brassy sounds scurrying ‘round the corner like so many frightened ghosts. In the Svensson piece "New Morning", a wailing blues guitar is played full-out in the best B.B. King style: blue tears off six strings. Naturally, a concert grand doesn’t belong to this "hymn for funk heaven", rather the good old Fender-Rhodes piano and the tasty, satisfying purr of the Hammond B3 organ (Jesper Nordenström, Robert Östlund) take the stage.
The Funk Unit is an irrepressible play-loving machine, and the inner drive that propels it is infectious. Landgren and company’s "ultimate goal" should be easy to achieve: "Fonk da World".