The Sugarman 3, What the World Needs Now

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 05.15.12 in Reviews

Ten years is a long time between albums. But saxophonist Neal Sugarman can be forgiven for the delay: He co-founded and helps run Daptone Records, Brooklyn’s throwback-R&B powerhouse, which has been a little bit busy lately. But on What the World Needs Now, Sugarman, organist Adam Scone and drummer Rudy Albin lock in good and hard on the opening track, “Rudy’s Intervention,” and basically hold that groove in place for 36 minutes.

A terrific comeback from a fully-forgiven 10-year break

World is conspicuously constructed: Its trio pieces are bracketed at the top by four more fully arranged tracks, and at the end by two more. It’s a smart way to bring in fans of larger Daptone acts like Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Menahan Street Band, with the trio at its core. The extra help sounds terrific, particularly guitarist Joseph Crispiano’s fetching chord-flecks on “Your Friendly Neighborhood Sugarman,” a showcase for the leader. Sugarman’s Boston home gets a nod with a cover of the Standells’ “Dirty Water,” but the best tracks — “Your Friendly Neighborhood Sugarman,” the bustling opener “Rudy’s Intervention,” the joyful “Mellow Meeting” — are originals. Ten years gives you time to do that.