With Spread Love Like Wildfire, Down to the Bone gets back to the original musical vision its leader, Stuart Wade, had for the band. This 2005 release is much funkier and more energetic than Cellar Funk, the 2004 hit offered by the jazz/groove collective. The music -- jazz-funk fusion combined with modern retro/club/dance influences all grooved up -- is documented on 11 great tracks that feature the group's core members enhanced by a dynamic horn section, the jazz flute of Jeremy Steig, the organic soul sound of vocalist N'Dambi -- formerly of Erykah Badu's group -- as well as live drumming incorporated with the programmed grooves. "Memphis Groove" kick starts the set. It is a funky set that pays homage to Herbie Mann's jazz flute style on Memphis Two-Step and Memphis Underground. "Wildfire Woman" has that West Coast groovy funk and folk feel that came out of the '60s and '70s San Francisco scene. "London Life" reflects the cityscape of the English city and the band's creative base, while "Mystic Samba" has exotic Brazilian and samba flavors. Overall, this diverse recording with its funky beats and hot dance tunes should keep listeners entertained and definitely entice others to hit the dancefloor.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein