Local Indy band Clint Breeze and the Groove bring an electrifying blend of funk, jazz, hip hop, and soul to their 2019 album.
This week, we’ve been looking at local bands competing in the Battle of the Bands being held at The Hi-Fi this month. While we’ve seen and heard a lot from some of those groups, we thought we’d switch it up this weekend by covering one band who isn’t competing, but could easily make it to the finals (in my opinion). Clint Breeze and the Groove are an Indianapolis powerhouse, and it’s a pleasure to be reviewing their 2019 album, “Arrival”.
But before we get into the album itself, first here’s a little more information on Clint Breeze and the Groove, for anyone who either hasn’t heard of them, or is just a little curious.
Clint Breeze and the Groove
Clint Breeze and the Groove is the brain child of Indianapolis native and hip hop producer Carrington Clinton. The Groove includes members Clint Breeze (drums), Nick Tucker (bass), Joel Tucker (guitar), Jared Thompson (sax), Zach Finnegan (trumpet), Chris Pitts (keys), and Pernell from Pike (emcee, vocals). They’ve played all across Indianapolis, from Square Cat Vinyl to the Hi-Fi. Clint Breeze and the Groove have also headlined several Indianapolis festivals, including Chreece and Indy Jazz Festival.
It’s safe to say that there isn’t a sound in Indianapolis quite like the one that Clint Breeze and the Groove brings. Their music places an emphasis on fusing the styles of jazz, funk, soul, rock, and hip hop into something else entirely. The resulting compositions tend to be drum heavy, and strike a balance between raw musicianship and crafted melodies.
in 2016, Clint Breeze released the album “Nappy Head”, highlighting the socio-political climate of Black America, and collaborating with over two dozen rappers, poets, musicians, and singers. The album created quite the buzz around Indianapolis, becoming somewhat of a local classic in the community. Fast forward three years, and Clint Breeze and the Groove release the studio album, “Arrival”. The album was released last April, recorded at Postal Recording, and produced by Clint Breeze.
“Arrival” opens with the standout track, “Lavender”, which starts off with a slow intro of synths and percussion. Before long, it builds into a satisfying groove, adding multiple layers of guitar, bass, and finally horns. The tone shifts drastically to a more rock-oriented sound as soon as Pernell From Pike comes in on the first verse. In between his verses, the guitar takes over for a short solo, then the sax. This back and forth between lyrical verses and musical solos continues through to the chorus.
The album continues with “Interstate”, a short instrumental track that acts as a kind of palate cleanser. The groove comes back strong with “The Bounce”, a track that dives into the ins and outs of relationships and missed connections. Next we get another instrumental palate cleanser with “Hot Take #1”, this one shorter but more jazzy.
“Hot Take #1” serves as a nice precursor to the jazz-influenced style of “TheeBop”. Pernell’s verses on this track are appropriately out of this world, and even goes into hyper drive for a few. “TheeBop” is one of the tracks that best encapsulates Clint Breeze and the Groove”. It’s got their elements of hip hop, jazz, electronic, soul, and rock all wrapped into one.
“Crosswalks” brings out more of the soul, rock, and jazz side for the first half of the track. The second is split by a few short and speedy lines from Pernell, as well as a laid back piano section before the track builds back up and into the outro. Props to Clint Breeze for the amazing, ending drum solo, too.
The album ends with the short back to back tracks, “oooo” and “Snakes”. The first is another instrumental, while the second serves as a final outgoing message from The Groove.
Overall, Clint Breeze and the Groove’s “Arrival” is a triumph of musicianship, lyricism, and poignant expression. It’s too bad Clint Breeze and the Groove didn’t enter the Battle of the Bands, because I think they’d stand a good chance at winning the whole thing. If you’re looking to hear them live, you’re in luck. The Groove is playing a free concert at Rhythm! Discovery Center at 10:00 AM on MLK Day this year. Be sure to go and support them, and hear some great music at the same time.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.