Sometimes you listen to an album and it comes across as a little formulaic. Other albums keep you guessing as to what’s coming next. Good Time by Ranky Tanky is definitely one of the latter. The only thing predictable about this album is that every song will get you moving.
The first thing you hear on the album is a groovy, jazzy line from an upright bass played by Kevin Hamilton. It sounds almost like something you would hear in a Massive Attack song circa Blue Lines. Then Quiana Parler starts to sing in a voice that is smooth and powerful – especially when she howls “Be my redeemer” with about a minute left in the song. The backing vocals sound like a gospel chorus, which fits with the lyrics. In the instrumental break Charlton Singleton plays a trumpet solo that could just as easily be on a Blue Note album.
“Freedom” has kind of an Afro-funk sound especially in the clean guitar tone of Clay Ross and the complex beat provided by Quentin E. Baxter. There is also a gospel component to this song that you hear particularly in the chorus.
If you had to describe “All for You” with one word, pretty would be an excellent choice. Parler sings in a subdued tone that perfectly fits the jazzy feel of the song. Do yourself a favor. Listen to this one with your eyes closed and just soak in the beauty.
“Sometime” is a flurry of activity with a beat that – like Buddy Rich – doesn’t seem to follow any particular time signature. It’s easy to imagine Baxter getting worn out when he plays on this one. This song also features some clapping that will make you feel like you are in a church like the one in The Blues Brothers. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself clapping along when you listen to this one. Not only that, don’t be surprised if you find yourself worn out from moving to this song.
This is not music for sitting still. It is a combination of jazz, soul, gospel, and funk that is a celebration of life, freedom, and movement. Good Time is the perfect title for this album because listening to it is pure enjoyment. This album will be available everywhere on July 12. Order your copy here.