British Jazz Fusion/Funk Quartet The New Mastersounds Bring a Reverence for the Groove to the Ludlow Garage

During the group’s two-decade history, the band has released over 20 group and solo full-length albums and EPs, plus a similar amount of singles, and amassed a sizable global fanbase with regular tours of the U.K., U.S., EU and Japan.

click to enlarge The New Mastersounds - PHOTO: NEWMASTERSOUNDS.COM/PHOTOSHOPPED BY TREVOR HIRST
Photo: newmastersounds.com/photoshopped by Trevor Hirst
The New Mastersounds

If you’re unfamiliar with The New Mastersounds, you’ve got plenty of catching up to do. The British Jazz Fusion/Funk quartet is celebrating its 20th anniversary and touring behind its most recent recordings, the just-released Shake It and last year’s Renewable Energy and The Nashville Session 2. During the group’s two-decade history, the band has released over 20 group and solo full-length albums and EPs, plus a similar amount of singles, and amassed a sizable global fanbase with regular tours of the U.K., U.S., EU and Japan.

The New Mastersounds began in 1999 when guitarist/producer Eddie Roberts expanded his club night at The Cooker in Leeds to include live music as an adjunct to DJ sets. Roberts recruited drummer Simon Allen, who had played with Roberts in a trio called the Mastersounds two years before, and added bassist Pete Shand and Hammond organist Bob Birch, dubbing the aggregation The New Mastersounds.

In 2003, the band created the label One Note Records (named after their track “One Note Brown”) and, in 2006, added saxophonist/flute player Rob Lavers as a regular studio/stage guest. The following year, home obligations forced Birch to reluctantly resign his position, and his spot was filled by Joe Tatton, who had previously filled in for Birch. 

Since their 2007 decision to concentrate on their core guitar/bass/organ/drums sound, The New Mastersounds has released 10 albums and built a diverse audience, particularly within the Jam community. The band has played every conceivable festival, sharing stages with the likes of Umphrey’s McGee, moe., Les Claypool, Galactic and Greyboy Allstars, and collaborated with a diverse pool of talent, including Corinne Bailey Rae, Grace Potter, Phish’s Page McConnell, Karl Denson and legends like Fred Wesley and The Meters’ George Porter Jr. 

Born on the eve of the new millennium, The New Mastersounds has spent the past 20 years exploring, shaping and defining Funk, Fusion and Neo Soul with reverence for the groove and an affinity for the dance floor.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. $25. Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, ludlowgaragecincinnati.com.