Tower of Power - Soul Side of Town (Mack Avenue)
Add Date: 06/12
Focus Track: 2
Formats: College, Modern Rock Specialty, & Triple A
Artist Info: Oakland, CA music legends Tower of Power – the most dynamic and distinctive band of survivors in Soul Music – is roaring into its unprecedented 50th anniversary with a dynamic new disc of all new material that finds them as energized and inspired as ever. A labor of love, definitively titled Soul Side of Town, this package is charged with 14 filler-free songs. In the spirit of their enduring theme song “Oakland Stroke” – the bookending intro and outro “East Bay” shine a light on elemental instrumental ingredients within the band’s signature sound. This astounding and historical release inaugurates Tower of Power’s fresh affiliation with Mack Avenue Records/Artistry Music, a Detroit-based company renowned for its award-winning dedication to top-tier Jazz that is now extending its support to Soul and Funk giants, Tower of Power: a band so one-of-a-kind, it’s an institution.
As always, the songs on Tower of Power’s Soul Side of Town were primarily composed by the hitmaking team of founding members Emilio Castillo (Detroit-born on 2nd tenor sax) and Stephen “Doc” Kupka (Los Angeles-born on baritone sax) who also hold down the world famous 5-man Tower of Power Horns. For the special occasion of Tower of Power’s 50th anniversary, leader Emilio Castillo brought in a most-astute choice in co-producer, Joe Vannelli: an all-around production/engineering/keyboard master best known for the jazz-tinged Soul-Rock Grammy®-winning work he performed behind the scenes with his international superstar brother, Gino Vannelli. Also insuring that the sound blasts powerful and clear from your speakers is the presence of mastering engineer Bernie Grundman in the mix. Along with the legendary rhythm section drums and bass lock of David Garibaldi and Francis Rocco Prestia, respectively, these decorated veterans have custom-crafted a hair-raising audio experience that longtime fans, music connoisseurs and a new generation of listeners will groove to for years to come.
Along with veteran members Castillo, Kupka, Garibaldi and Prestia, T.O.P. consists of guitarist Jerry Cortez, Hammond B3 organist/keyboardist Roger Smith, 1st tenor saxophonist Tom Politzer, and trumpeters Adolfo Acosta and Sal Cracchiolo. Soul Side of Town is also blessed with not one but two lead singers: outgoing Ray Greene (now in Santana) and incoming Marcus Scott (boldly introduced on several selections, including “Hangin’ With My Baby”). The 10-piece Tower of Power band is prepared to throw down next year with a celebratory tour that will include sweet spots around the globe.