In 2015, Toronto-based keyboardist Joel Visentin got together with fresh, younger talents, guitarist Adam Beer-Colacino and drummer Jeff Halischuk, to form JV’S Boogaloo Squad. Their long-awaited debut album has finally reached eager audiences and is a soulful, funky kick in the pants that will get anyone bopping and tapping their foot on the dreariest and coldest of winter days. Visentin’s riffs and solos on the unique and instantly distinguishable Hammond B3 organ are the powerhouse and driving force behind the music. All pieces except for one are original works by Visentin.
Slacktivison starts off the record with a great groove and catchy beat provided by Beer-Colacino and Halischuck respectively. As we move through pieces such as Fashionably Lazy, Forty Filth and Different Times, it is apparent that the fluidity and cohesion between musicians is fantastic and that the talent concentrated within this group is immense. The collective has been mentioned as having a “vintage yet modern sound” and that is clearly showcased by the timeless sound of the B3 throughout the pieces. Yet, modernity comes into play when paired with the sultry riffs of Beer-Colacino and Halischuck’s contemporary beats. A personal favourite is Squadzilla, which has a true funkiness and energetic quality to it with a smooth hint of tenor saxophone contributed by Kelly Jefferson.
In a music scene where pure funk and soul have been slightly pushed aside, this record is a true breath of fresh air.