Jazz-funk has been around almost as long as funk itself. Funk started in the '60s with James Brown (his '50s recordings were certainly funky even though they weren't funk per se), and it didn't take long for the Godfather of Soul's rhythmic innovations of the '60s to start influencing the era's soul-jazz organ combos. Musically, a lot has changed since the '60s and '70s, but the desire to fuse jazz, funk, and soul remains in the 21st century. Some jazz-funksters are content to simply emulate recordings that the Crusaders, Charles Earland, or Grover Washington, Jr. made back in the day, but on Patience, the Dancing Dogs demonstrate that they would like to keep jazz-funk moving ahead -- and they bring so many different influences to the table that jazz purists and bop snobs are likely to go into convulsions. Jazz, soul, and funk are a big part of the recipe on this eclectic release, but the Dancing Dogs also incorporate everything from rock, reggae, and ska to African pop, Latin music, and klezmer. The band is based in New Bedford, MA -- not exactly the Deep South -- and yet, they bring a strong New Orleans flavor to Patience and show their appreciation of both New Orleans jazz and New Orleans soul. The artists who have influenced this CD are too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say that Weather Report, Parliament/Funkadelic, James Brown, the Crusaders, the Skatalites, the Meters, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and Bob Marley are among the more prominent influences that show up. As far-reaching as Patience is, the Dancing Dogs don't sound confused or unfocused. Quite the contrary -- they pull all their influences together quite effectively and make Patience an album that is as rewarding as it is unpredictable.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson