The first 30 seconds of Voodoo Funk Project's debut album will send listeners scurrying to the liner notes looking for the recording date: "Black Magic" is Blackbyrds-style funky soul-jazz, right down to the vintage synth whooshes that lazily ripple across the sound field and the introduction of an extremely 1970s-vintage clavinet part about two minutes in. The rest of the album maintains this retro vibe, unsurprising since the brain behind this U.K. foursome is producer and programmer Geoff Wilkinson, formerly half of acid jazz pioneers Us3. Unlike that dance-oriented group, there's no desire on the part of Voodoo Funk Project to update their sound with turntables or guest rappers: the groove is the thing, pure and simple, and keyboardist Mike Gorman and bassist Julian Crampton do a remarkably good job of splitting the difference between backing reedsman Ed Jones' solos and staying front and center on their own, as exemplified by the interplay between the four musicians on the genuinely excellent "This Is Where?" Those who blanch at the merest idea of jazz-funk won't have their minds changed by Deep in the Cut, but this is essential new music for fans of the form.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason