Carl Burnett – Life before Midi: Naked

Carl BurnettCarl Burnett
Life before Midi: Naked
(CDBaby – 2004)
by John Thompson

On the inside sleeve it says the following: “no rehearsals, no midi programming, no click track, 100% live jamming.” Produced and mostly written by rising star and guitarist Carl Burnett, the “jamming” is certainly pretty accurate. This is a musician’s funky jazz jam, with hints of rock jams,wah wahs, fender Rhodes, and REAL DRUMS!  Mr. Burnett is insightful, lyrical, while not falling prey towards guitar over-chops.

Some of the featured artists include funky funky Reggie Hamilton (B), Deron Johnson (K), Robben Ford (G), and Branford Marsalis (TS,SS). Loud Party Warning, Funk E Mo Fo, and The Next Thing are as soulful and George Duke-funky as they come. My favorite for depth ness sake is Tutto Azzurro, which definitely remembers a guitarist with the last name of Hendrix and his band. There is plenty of 70’s feel present, with early influences of pre-popular Parliament Funkadelic. The late drummer Tony Williams comes to mind in relation to this cd, in that musicians whom are labeled under Jazz are known to jump towards rock-funk. This disc shows that it is possible to not over simplify studio time and just let the musicians do their thing with success. So I say ‘right on, fight the power’ to Carl Burnett. 3 1/2 stars.