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The Chronos Band 

Boots the Cat (independent)


This select crew of nine players found time away from backing the likes of Cyndi Cain and Garrett Mason to forge its own funk. The numbers led by bassist/composer Rhéo Rochon, like "Crabwalk" and "Galapagos," show the influence of Antibalas and Fela Kuti, creating space for hooks and solos. Live, they'd stretch out well beyond the six minutes allotted here. Afrobeat bottom invites a New Orleans lustre. Liberal use of Trevor Wentzell's baritone sax pumps exotic air into playful numbers like "House of Cards," which constructs and deconstructs in a ramshackle fashion. Boots the Cat is loose and tight in all the right places.

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