Published Sep 16, 2020The last decade has seen vocalist, drummer and funk legend Steve Arrington working with a new generation of artists and producers (his potent collaboration with Dâm-Funk on 2013's Higher, and this year's Thundercat collab "Black Qualls"), who have been reared on Arrington-helmed funk cornerstones.
Recorded entirely in the Stones Throw studio with a roster of producers assembled by Peanut Butter Wolf, including DJ Harrison, Jerry Paper, Benedek and Knxwledge, Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions affirms Arrington's creative renaissance. The DJ Harrison-produced "Make a Difference" is a deeply bouncy tonic for troubled times. Vocally, Arrington's lost none of his smoothly idiosyncratic style — dig the extended vocal coda on "Soulful I Need That In My Life" or the balmy summertime grooves of "Keep Dreaming" and "Good Mood."
Its subtitle may suggest a retro-affair, but there's a broad definition of soul here. "Make Ya Say Yie" is dusty Memphis soul on acid and is easily the most adventurous thing Arrington has committed to wax, while "You're Not Ready" is soulful house with an industrial finish..
"I'm right where I belong," Arrington sings on the Slave-indebted "Love Knows" and indeed, Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions is a triumphant return from a funk dominator. (Stones Throw)