Anayca

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From hard rock, heavy metal, and punk to soul, funk and disco, the '70s are the decade that refuses to die. In the 21st century, there is no shortage of artists who have a '70s obsession, and the artists…
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From hard rock, heavy metal, and punk to soul, funk and disco, the '70s are the decade that refuses to die. In the 21st century, there is no shortage of artists who have a '70s obsession, and the artists they're obsessing over could be anyone from Led Zeppelin to Donna Summer to Rufus & Chaka Khan to the Sex Pistols. In the case of Groovopolis, that '70s obsession is a soul-jazz/jazz-funk obsession; their accessible, groove-oriented work is a throwback to a time when improvisers like Grover Washington, Jr., the Crusaders, Charles Earland, Lou Donaldson, and Funk, Inc. were determined to make instrumental jazz appealing to soul and funk enthusiasts.

The Groovopolis project got underway in New Orleans in 2001, when guitarist Christopher Cortez joined forces with trumpeter Jay Webb, keyboardist Dean Fransen, bassist Lenny DiMartino, and drummer Jeff Mills. By that time, Cortez had already been recording as a solo artist; his own albums have included Territorial Imperative and Talamasca. Almost immediately the members of Groovopolis started using George Clinton-like terminology in the quintet's press releases. One of those humorous press releases stated that the Crescent City outfit's goal was to "whet the appetite of the planet with their groovolicious music, thereby creating a contagious, pleasurable condition known as groovitis" -- in other words, they were sounding a lot like Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic empire circa 1976 (when The Mothership Connection and The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein were released). But none of the material on Groovopolis' self-titled debut album is vocal-oriented funk; everything on the disc is instrumental soul-jazz/jazz-funk. Groovopolis is more Crusaders than Bootsy Collins, more David Sanborn than Average White Band, more Funk, Inc. than Ohio Players.

Groovopolis started recording that self-titled album in March 2001 and finished recording it in February 2002. In addition to serving as both producer and engineer, Cortez wrote most of the material. About six months after the recording and mixing were completed, Cortez released Groovoplis' first album on his own label, Blue Bamboo Music.