For when the week is long and languid and it feels like your blood is turning the consistency of the slush on the curb, Funk Trek has a message. It’s spoken for about 10 seconds of an hour-long album, but just because there are seldom words doesn’t mean the music doesn’t talk. When it does, it says: Purify, purify, purify.
The funk of the Omaha-based ensemble is something that boils and flows through a century of the urban America’s artistic bloodstream. In six-minute songs dominated by horn pops and bass solos, there’s a range of temperaments that could spark a small-scale high school dance revolt or could send up a nightclub in musical flames with a three-hour set. The technical proficiency simply needs to decide what outfit it wants to wear.
Founded in 2008, the band started out as Da Funk Trek Voyager and then became Funk Trek Voyager. Once Voyager became their debut album in 2010, they dropped that word from the moniker as well and now the band called Funk Trek is closer than ever to simply going by the name of the principle force in its music.
But they are right when the band postulates its songs are “one percent something stanky.” A few rainy afternoon interludes highlight the jazzier side of their effort while horn slurs from an alto and tenor sax and trumpet invoke a hint of swing you won’t find in Parliament Funk or Rick James. It’s not dirty funk by any means. As the album title might suggest, Funk Trek comes to the listening public with a purified second album. If they wanted, they could reprise a Shaft score and they could do it with a hint of Glenn Miller.