The Deal: High-stepping funk with a big bottom.
The Good: Porter/Batiste/Stoltz bassist George Porter Jr. calls this outfit the ultimate jam band. But this jam comes without noodles and a heavy helping of funk. At first glance, it might appear to be the funky Meters without Art Neville. But while it has roots in that same patch of funky ground, PBS takes it a giant step further with exciting new grooves. Drummer Russell Batiste, ex Neville Brothers guitarist Brian Stoltz and Porter have been playing together since the funky Meters inception in '89. This is a power trio as heavy as Cream on cuts like "Comin At Ya," James Brown funky on "I Get High," "All We Wanna Do" could be a Sly and The Family Stone outtake. But the tunes are not retro recreations. They're fresh and full of energy. Even though most of the cuts are extended jams averaging around nine minutes, these guys don't get noodly. Porter says the lack of noodles is because the band members are good listeners and pay attention to one another, never doing the same jam twice. The grooves just keep unwinding here, leaving no room for boredom. Phish keyboardist Page McConnell appears on a handful of tunes, too.
The Bad: Nothing to report. These guys are the masters of this genre.
The Verdict: Don't think of it as jam. Fortified funk is the only label you need slapped on this product.