Picks and Pans Review: Gap Band Vi
The GAP Band
The band's name is an acronym for the nexus of three streets (Greenwood, Archer and Pine) in Tulsa, where the Wilson brothers, Charlie, Ronnie and Robert, were raised. But GAP could also stand for the chasm between the one or two superb songs on each of their six albums and the surrounding humdrum material. The GAP Band is the musical equivalent of Dave Kingman: They strike out all too often, though there is always the possibility that they'll take the next pitch all the way downtown. When the trio is good (You Dropped a Bomb on Me from GAP Band IV or Party Train from V), they are very, very good. Their soulful vocals and the capable producing of Lonnie Simmons prevent them from ever being truly horrid. But they sure coast a lot. On this LP, if you are patient enough to wade through such funk flotsam as Video Junkie and Beep a Freak, there is I Believe—a traipsing blues number backed with a full complement of horns and a stinging guitar tone à la Johnny Watson. I Found My Baby has a down-and-dirty jazz riff that the Wilsons decorate with some fabulous singing. But beware: The GAP Band forces you to buy the cow to get a glass of milk. You're better off with the group's new retrospective, GAP Gold: The Best of the GAP Band. (Total Experience/RCA)
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