It’s hard to beat powder – tonight’s funk will come close |

It’s hard to beat powder – tonight’s funk will come close

Special to the DailyFrom left to right: bassist Robert Mercurio, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, keyboardist Robert Walter, drummer Stanton Moore, and guitarist Will Bernard.

BRECKENRIDGE – They were thrown together at the New Orleans Jazz Fest for just one show, but luckily for us, they hit it off. A big, greasy, funk machine is rolling its way into Breckenridge tonight as the Frequinox, featuring more than a couple moguls in the world of funk, slinks and swanks its way onto the stage at Sherpa and Yeti’s.The Frequinox features drummer Stanton Moore and bassist Robert Mercurio, both of Galactic; Robert Walter from 20th Congress on his B3 electronic organ; guitarist Will Bernard of 20th Congress and T.J. Kirk; and alto saxophonist Donald Harrison from Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters. This is a pool deep with musicianship.

According to Walter, you can sometimes throw together some very talented musicians and have things work out as you’d hope – but in this case, The Frequinox hit it off from the get-go. Moore calls Frequinox music “unrepentant funk from the late 1960s, early 1970s, in the veins of The Meters to James Brown soul-jazz stuff, bluenote stuff; everything in that era is game.”They’ve been doing mostly five-day runs, with past tours of the West and East coasts and several shows in New Orleans. On the Colorado tour, Sherpa’s is by far the smallest venue to feature the band. “We’d been out (to Colorado) with Galactic, but we hadn’t had a chance to do a bunch of ski towns. It’s fun to do some of the markets that Galactic doesn’t normally get to hit,” Moore says.

Originally, they were doing covers of funk legends. Now the shows predominate with Frequinox’s own compositions by a slight margin. Frequinox-specific tunes had mostly been brought in by Walter and Moore, but before their last tour of New Orleans, they fit in a two-day writing session where they hammered out five original songs. They haven’t put out anything more than small demos so far, but Moore says he’s hoping for a Frequinox record within the next year.”It’s good to just lay into some of the funk stuff without feeling like I have to reinvent,” Moore says. He adds that The Frequinox delivers funk the way it was originally intended, with new compositions that fit right into that era, that vision. They play the tunes straight, without effects or loops.

That, along with the immediate harmony of the members, seems to be the main allure for the fivesome. Moore adds that “in Galactic there’s a lot of pressure, we can’t do it just the way The Meters did, we gotta digest it and add something. This we can do it just the way The Meters did it.” It must be pretty darn fun for them, because Moore, to take an example, could be considered the backbone of at least four groups right now, not counting his solo work (he’s released two solo albums). “It’s a juggling act. I love playing. I love playing all types of different music,” Moore says. And Stanton, we love listening.

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