CULTURE

Unapologetically retro, Milo Z is back with more funk

The New York-based Milo Z, whose old-school funk drew solid audiences to the capital’s Half Note Jazz Club on two previous tours, is set to return to the same venue for a week of performances beginning this Friday. Once again, Milo Z will be backed by his dynamic band, which, along with its frontman, produces a sensual jazz-funk style with elements of hip-hop as the only hint of any interest by the act in contemporary trends. Though Milo Z and his band released their debut album in the early 1990s, they sound more like they’ve come straight out of the ’70s. The horn-powered style of funk played by Milo Z was huge during its time of development, but, by the early ’80s, the scene gave way to a more modern form of funk dressed in high-tech synthesizer sounds. Some of the early ’70s funksters survived by scrapping real horn sounds for high-tech synthesized styles. Most of those who refused to do so were swept aside by the changing trends. Milo Z belongs to a minority of acts that have remained faithful to the old-school sounds crafted by pioneering figures such as George Clinton, who broke ground as the frontman of two remarkably original bands in the ’70s, Funkadelic and Parliament. Milo Z’s approach to his music is heavily guided by Clinton’s work. His occasional rapping comes as rare acknowledgement to more contemporary musical trends. Milo Z’s debut album «Basic Need to Howl,» released in 1994, was not a big seller, but it has become a highly sought after item for fans of horn-powered, 1970s-style funk. The group’s members have considerable collective experience. Members of Milo Z’s band have performed with top-selling international acts such as the Neville Brothers, Maceo Parker, Al Green, and Tom Jones. Milo Z showed an interest in music from an early age and, at 15, had already begun playing Manhattan clubs as a drummer in various acts before settling for the microphone. He soon began fusing funk with hip-hop and rock and decided to name the style «Razzomofunk.» Even so, in most cases, Milo Z and his band are unapologetically retro yet, without a doubt, exceptionally good at what they do. On their first visit to Greece some four years ago, the act managed to delight capacity crowds with uplifting funk, delivered tightly and confidently and with the obvious intention to entertain.