On Until Now, Michigan-based seven-piece-bucket Funktelligence has managed to successfully merge diverse and often contradictory styles - hip-hop, jazz, gospel, soul and funk - into a zesty, attitude-driven stew for the ages. The result is an extremely tight and very "real" band supporting positive lyrics directed to all social levels. Touches of congas and trumpet give this already delicious dish an extra kick, adding to Funktelligence's authentic feel. (It might help that one of the band members' father was in The Dramatics.)
The standouts among the 12 selections include the society- directed chants "Straight Up," "Trifes of the World," "Spread Love" and "For Your Soul." "The Poet" is a time-machine trip into the Donald Byrd era and experience, with its throwback '70s rhythms and floating trumpet. "Still in the Deuce" is a colorful, daring romp. Funk off.