Average White Band (AWB for short) is widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though perhaps best known for its timeless instrumental mega-hit "Pick Up the Pieces," the band's strength actually lies in its consistently accomplished songwriting, stretching across several Gold-selling albums and multiple Grammy nominations on the legendary Atlantic Records label. Despite its name, the band is far from average, being one of the few white bands to cross the color line and achieve success playing its own fiery brand of funk.
Somewhat incongruously, given its Scottish roots, the members of Average White Band took the influences of their R&B heroes - people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway, and others - and developed their own "authentic" sound, which was eagerly adopted by black audiences in the U.S. and elsewhere. While a good number of cuts - "Cut the Cake" and "Let's Go Round Again," to name but two - attracted chart action as hit singles, many other album tracks, like "Schoolboy Crush" and "Stop The Rain," became the base samples for many turntable grooves. Numerous other tunes, including "Cloudy," "A Love of Your Own," and "Nothing You Can Do," stand alongside some of the finest soul tracks ever recorded.
After disbanding briefly in the '80s, Average White Band reformed in 1989, and today, 40 years after its initial formation, the group continues to perform and record its infectiously danceable brand of funky soul. The band's most recent studio albums include Soul Tattoo (1997) and Living in Colour (2003). Tonight, as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival, ABW returns to the club where it recorded its latest two live albums, Soul & The City (2006) and Times Squared (2009).
Saturday Beatles Brunch