In the mid '90s, there weren't many safer bets on the West Coast for a raucous, funk-leaning good time than San Diego's Greyboy Allstars.
Coalescing around the soul and rare groove sounds mined by the city's DJ Greyboy, the Allstars were part of a loosely defined American acid jazz scene that at various points included Soulive, Brooklyn Funk Essentials and offshoots of what became a sort of jazz-leaning instrumental "jam band" circuit. The Allstars even shifted into film work, performing music for Jake Kasdan's 1998 feature, "Zero Effect."
While many such bands eventually became cut-out bin curiosities (Liquid Soul, anyone?), the Allstars still soldier on into their 20th year together. The group's original members have reconvened for a new studio album, "Inland Emperor" (due April 16), their first new recording since "What Happened to Television" in 2007.
While that album boasted the group's familiar, vintage-leaning sounds evoking '60s and '70s soul-jazz, "Inland Emperor" casts a bit more of an ear toward the future with flashes of growling electronics.
The group's head-bobbing sound remains led by keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the flinty guitar runs of Elgin Park, but the background is a little darker, but still funky. Listen to a premiere of the track "Better Get a Jump on It" below.