Redtenbacher’s Funkestra: The Cooker (2013)

The Cooker

Track list:

01. Crankmaster General (feat. Eric Krasno) 05:11
02. The Cooker (feat. Lenny Pickett) 07:13
03. Funky Barbarella 05:03
04. The Oracle 05:51
05. Tricknologists (feat. Jim Hunt) 04:35
06. Bo & Rhino (feat. Lenny Pickett) 07:16
07. Dragonfly (feat. Michael B. Nelson) 04:55
08. The Whip 05:56
09. Unsquare Blues 06:43
10. Triple X (Drum intro) 00:27
11. Triple X (feat. The Hornheads) 04:50
12. One afternoon in Tunisia 05:52
13. Happy Birthday (To Funky You) 00:55
14. Unsquare Blues (feat. Christoph Wundrak) 06:43
15. One afternoon in Tunisia Alt (Sax edit) 05:11
16. Happy Birthday (To Funky You) Alt (horn edit) 01:20


Redtenbacher’s Funkestra:

Stefan Redtenbacher (bass, bandleader)
Mike Sturgis (drums)
Eran Kendler (guitar)
Sid Gauld (trumpet)
Jim Hunt (tenor saxophone)
Rob Taggart (Fender Rhodes)
Dave Limina (Hammond B3 organ)

Special guests:

Eric Krasno (guitar)
Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone)

The Hornheads:

Michael B. Nelson (trombone)
Steve Strand (trumpet)
Dave Jensen (trumpet)
Kenni Holmen (tenor, piccolo and flute)
Kathy Jensen (alto and bari saxophone)

Additional musicians:

Tom Rees-Roberts (trumpet)
Trevor Mires (trombone)
Paul Booth (tenor saxophone)
Phil Todd (baritone saxophone)
Alex Reffgen (tubax)
Christoph Wundrak (flugelhorn)
Oli Savill (percussion)
Fergus Gerrand (percussion)
Gabriel Nuzzoli (percussion)

String section:

Pete Whitfield (section leader, violin and viola)
Julian Cole (violin)
Paulette Bayley (violin)
Sarah Brandwood-Spencer (violin and viola)
Nick Trygstad (cello)
Simon Turner (cello)

Recorded: 2010
Released: April 16, 2013
Label: Wooden Hat Records

Producer: Stefan Redtenbacher
Recorded, mixed, mastered by: ‘Master Ears’ Rupert Christie

Recording the rhythm section for ‘The Cooker’ (Eran, Dave, Mike, Rupert & Stefan)

Eran, Dave, Mike, Rupert & Stefan

It was May; Shepard’s Bush, London; Mike Sturgis (drums), Eran Kendler (guitar), Dave Limina (Hammond B3) and Stefan Redtenbacher (bass, bandleader) were laying down the rhythm tracks for ‘The Cooker’ under the watchful ears of Rupert Christie. He is getting better and better and so do the guys! I only planned to play along as a guide but, as so often, the takes stuck and the bass on the album is what I played during the sessions.

Recording the horns for ‘The Cooker’ (The mighty horn section)

The mighty horn section

These pictures where taken in December 2010 during the recording of a mighty horn section that I nick-named ‘Jericho Horns’, an invented name from my late great friend Bernie ‘Big B’ Auer. The section is Sid Gauld and Tom Rees-Roberts on trumpet, Trevor Mires on trombone, Paul Booth on Tenor sax and Phil Todd on Baritone sax. We recorded one day at Assault and Battery 2 in Willesden (London) and the next day at ‘The Blue Room’ Studio’ in North-West London, owned by Bluey from Incognito. The engineers were Sam Burden and Mo Hausler under the watchful ear of Rupert ‘master ears’ Christie. They all did a great job. Peter Tomasso helped me with the horn scores and popped in the studio (on the far left in the group picture) to have a listen.

(Battery & Assault studio)

Battery and Assault studio

Recording Lenny Pickett for ‘The Cooker’ (Lenny Pickett & Stefan Redtenbacher)

Lenny Pickett and Stefan Redtenbacher

It was a great pleasure to record tenor sax player Lenny Pickett in New York. Great guy…fantastic player…took me all the way back to when I discovered Tower of Power’s ‘Live and in Living Color’. His solo on ‘Knock Yourself Out’ forever changed my world.


Led by brainchild bassist and composer Stefan Redtenbacher, this R&B/jazz crossover project is exceptional.

The ‘Funkestra’ is constructed with contrasting horn sections: The Jericho Horns from the UK and the Hornheads from the US.

The core rhythm section comprised of guitar, bass, B3, and Rhodes rounds out the ensemble.

The Funkestra never seems to miss a ‘groove’.

“Crankmaster General” initiates ‘funkily-sound’ featuring excellent shedding on guitar via Eric Krasno.

Redtenbacher lays a solid bass foundation on “The Cooker”, with Lenny Pickett showing off mad tenor sax chops.

“Unsquare Blues”, drenched in gospel influence, provides sax soloist Paul Booth ample inspiration while fellow stand-out “One Afternoon in Tunisia” contrasts with more restraint, still packing a K.O. punch.

Sixteen tracks deep, The Cooker never disappoints.

Consistent and enjoyable, the effort serves as a triumphant showcase of top-rate musicianship.