Randy Muller, may not be a familiar name to young music lovers but 'grown-n-sexys' remember his bands, Brass Construction and SKYY. I was walking home from school in Brooklyn, New York, when I heard a song called "Movin'' being blasted from The Calypso Hut, a record store near my house, as my friends and I were passing by. I remember some fine young ladies in heavy make-up and tight jeans doing 'the Hustle' on the sidewalk right outside the store to that almighty groove. Brass Construction's instant popularity came on the heels of the success of two other Brooklyn-based bands, Crown Heights Affair and BT Express. Platinum albums and number one R&B hits followed for Muller's band, comprised of classmates he met at George Gershwin Junior High School. He later assembled and produced the 8-person, funk band, SKYY as well as producing R&B funkster Rafael Cameron, who performed under the name Cameron.
It's some thirty years since the Guyana-born musician first created the arresting dance-oriented grooves that were the trademark of the sound he created in collaboration with producer Jeff Lane. Randy Muller steps forward again, not to remake disco or â€˜70s funk, but to remake himself as an artist and producer. Muller's second coming is that of a groove-oriented smooth jazz musician using the flute as his weapon of choice. Satisfied in the knowledge that he has already made the world dance, Randy now wants you to chill. He uses the funkified beats he knows so well as the underscore to his ethereal flights on the flute.
You definitely will be shakin' it to "Grooving U," the title song of the CD, as well as his re-intrepretation of his own hit composition for SKYY, "Call Me," and the clever, Brazilian samba "Bala." However, the album may work best as cool, soothing music therapy that helps you get your mind right on your commute to or from your daily grind. Muller is also looking out for your physical needs by providing a few "babymakers" with the cuts "Easy Luv", the Sade-esque "Standin' in the Rain" and an instrumental meditation on the Heatwave classic, "Always and Forever".
Randy Muller's project, much like Ray Parker's 2006 CD I'm Free, is a creative and courageous attempt by a previously successful artist to re-connect with his audience in a new musical place and time. I've often wondered why more classic R&B acts haven't attempted similar projects, instead of trying to revive old formulas by doing "cover" albums of tried and true hits by their former peers. The music world seems to be infected with â€˜reunionitis,' and Muller could conceivably resurrect Brass Construction and perhaps get a decent payday for the effort. I suspect though, Randy Muller is back for some NEW musical adventures and seeking new rewards in THIS music era. Welcome back Randy...you were away too long.
By Les Clarke