Rise Above is a solid collection of songs highlighted by engaging arrangements and state-of-the art production. Funkiphino has successfully raised the bar to a level far out of reach for most independent bands with this major label quality release.
Funkiphino delivers a smooth groove fueled by dual female lead vocals with a Hammond B-3 organ and a full horn section. It's a new groove for Strokeland fans and can perhaps be described as "euro-funk" style acid-jazz sprinkled with retro Oakland-style horns.
The guest musicians on this CD include Strokeland's own Stephen "Doc" Kupka on five tracks, Tower of Power's Francis "Rocco" Prestia on bass for two tracks, and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson) on a signature guitar solo. Ace studio trombonist Nick Lane from Strokeland's own "Alias Smith & Lane" joins the horn section on several tracks.
The band teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Matt Sandoski who coproduced the album with Funkiphino band leader/keyboardist Chris Fischer. Chris also collaborated with Tower of Power arranger Dave Eskridge to create fantastic horn and string arrangements.
Rise Above was recorded in Boulder, Colorado and Los Angeles and at George Lucas' legendary Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California. At Skywalker Sound Funkiphino had the privilege of working with world-class members of the San Francisco Symphony and Opera to record live orchestral string arrangements that grace five of the tracks on Rise Above.
The record was mixed by Matt Sandoski and mastered by Grammy winner David Glasser at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, Colorado.
Check out Funkiphino's smooth dance grooves for yourself.