I set out my stall when I reviewed fo/mo/deep's previous record "A Beautiful Bang" and I'm glad to have been able to keep up with the band between the release of that record and 2014’s deliciously titled "The Groovy Goodness".

As I type this, summer seems like it's upon us and the burst of energy that is '1974' just makes it feel all the more real. The passionate sax and electric piano solos reinforce what the rhythm section has told you from minute one - it's on! I just went back and listened to this song after drafting this first paragraph - because I can't get that sax hook out of my head, in fact this whole song has grabbed me and won't let go. Funk lovers are in more familiar territory with 'Block Party', which is a sax-led head-nodding number. There is a lot of air in Ron Holmes' fretless bass line and André Scott's snare drum pattern - which I always love - this must be a great jam live.

Is it a Motown track, or a big band number creepin' up on you? Neither - it's 'Groidology'. It has a real swagger, helped by the loping upright bass line. I loved this song the first time I heard it and it gets better all the time. The rhythmic figure on piano and *that* trombone solo bring it on home. Mighty, mighty. Blues? Is John Lee Hooker in the house? 'Peach Cobbler' has an old Crusaders sound - and I mean that this sounds like Wilton Felder and Joe Sample circa 1972. The break midway through has an almost carnival vibe - it sounds like someone is having a ball in the studio!

'If We, Can Be..' is a short but grand solo piano intro to the ballad 'As She Walked Away', which is a lovely segue, let me say. Joshua Boyd gets a sense of drama reminiscent of the Isley Brothers' 'Highways of my Life'. The ballad itself is very radio friendly, and I mean that in the most positive way. Smooth jazz and NAC stations should be giving this heavy airplay. Tenor sax takes the melody but it's the piano that really sets the tone. The swell of the fretless bass and that skipping snare are more hypnotic than you realize.

There's a lovely retro feel to the chunky 'That Song (This Love)'. Keith Newton's tenor sax leads off and states the melody clearly before the groove lays back and the sax takes a lyrical solo. The electric piano interjects but the pleading sax takes it home. That same sax burns on the short and very sweet solo piece 'You Can Love me Twice the Next Time'. Hear this on headphones and feel chills.

'The Price of Suga'' is a frenzied piece written in 6/4. The fretless bass almost sounds like a voice, and the electric piano and soprano sax whirl around as if to drive the bass crazy. Then the bass goes crazy - the tension was building to the point where it had to cut loose. Peace of mind by the end? You decide. Certainly in the closer 'Chamsa (A Tribute to Shimrit Shoshan)' the solo piano makes you close your eyes in contemplation.

I my review of the previous CD I talked about the honest nature of this band's music. They have a tightness and togetherness that must come from the many gigs I see publicized on social media, and it's delivered to music buyers intact thanks to uncluttered and elegant production which, to my ears, is rare in these times. The more I listen, the more I'm drawn in to the fo/mo/deep sound - and I like that.

And here's a shout out to Ron and Sandra Holmes for one of the most funky, engaging and joyful pieces of cover design I've seen in years. It's often used as my computer wallpaper, both at home and at work. Drawn in…


RHMedia LLC - Producer: Ron "FatKat" Holmes