DW3’s new self-titled album on Woodward Avenue Records is so chock full of instant classics, it’s a challenge to find a single entry point that perfectly captures the old school funky, R&B, jazz and Latin fired energy stirred up by the party band turned studio masters Eric and Billy Mondragon and Damon Reel.
To help them flesh out their vision, the trio ensembles with a batch of SoCal’s top studio guns and brings the heavy hitting saxophones of Boney James, Richard Elliot and Eric Darius to the mix. Elliot helps get the album off to a slammin’ start, bringing his high-octane tenor fire (and some well-placed EWI generated vocals) to the loose, freewheeling funk opener whose title, “Let’s Have Fun Tonight,” sets the album’s overall intention.
While DW3 will surely always be playing the arrangements of crowd-pleasing pop and soul classics which made them a sensation among urban jazz fans, their new album lays a foundation for a band creatively transcending their past and embracing a future with no musical limits. Its inspiring to hear them integrate their classic vibe with fresh new sounds, contemporary melodies and songs that draw from all of their influences yet have their own distinctive flow.
Listen to Let’s Have Fun Tonight on Smooth Jazz Buzz (Playlist 19/4).