Dwayne Omarr

Multi Funk

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Bassist Dwayne Omarr has been a fixture on the modern funk scene since the late '70s but has generally stayed behind the scenes, writing songs, producing other artists' albums, and contributing the odd lead guitar part or backing vocal to his friends' projects. For his first solo album, he chooses to go back to his roots. The album is oddly titled; there's nothing multifarious about the funk featured on Multi Funk. There's not a single track on the program that would sound out of place on a Parliament/Funkadelic joint from the late '70s, and the beats frequently evoke first-generation hip-hop while the heavily vocodered vocals will make you think of "Rockit"-era Herbie Hancock. And there are synthesizer handclaps -- lots and lots of synthesizer handclaps. Is it tons of fun? Absolutely. Does it start to wear thin by the end of the album (despite its rather stingy 37-minute length)? Maybe. But if your tolerance for vintage funk is high, you won't want to miss a minute. The album includes several dub mixes of tracks from Omarr's past -- the 1986 Omarr's Girls single "Mr. Gigolo," 1985's "Save the Children," and "Breakdown New York Style." The opening track is also an edited version of an early release, "This Party's Jam Packed," a 1982 collaboration with the legendary Maurice Starr. If the remaining tracks are more recent than those, you'd never guess it -- and more power to him.

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