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Mike Funktastic Zabrin / Press

"Chicago-based bassist Mike Zabrin is feeling Funktastic. That’s the name of his debut album, featuring R&B and jazz sounds, and of course, a heavy dose of funk. Zabrin, who tours with the Joe Moss Band, has enlisted some funk heavy-hitters to guest on the record, too. Vocalist Kendra Foster from Parliament Funkadelic makes an appearance, as do members of The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown and Kool & the Gang. And fellow bassist Norwood Fisher of Fishbone, who instead of bass, handles the lyrics and vocals on “Fact Fiction.” Get a taste of what’s happening here in this snippet of the opening track “(You Are) Extraordinary”"

“The cut that's currently grabbing all the attention is a wonderful confection called 'The Other Side'. The tune mixes the flavours of nu/neo soul with the attributes of that odd soul genre, "modern" soul, which though contemporary is totally retro. Into that odd cocktail you can throw a brilliant brass section and a great trombone solo from Kool and the Gang's Clifford Adams. The cherry on all this is great and soulful vocal from Kendra Foster who, of course, has worked with the Parliament/Funkadelic axis as well as being one of D'angelo's team. And to allude to an earlier point, allowing his vocalists plenty of expressive space is what makes Zabrin's album so different and varied to other bass players' albums.”

“Sometimes you’ll hit a dry spell where it seems like no one is putting out any new funk music and then there’s a sudden deluge of great material coming out from surprise locations. In this case, we had two amazing entries into the funk arena which we’ll simply just cross link once both reviews are finished because there’s so much to say about each one. Those entries are Analog Son and Mike Zabrin’s Funkatastic. Mike Zabrin came to us via Funkatopia friend John Heintz from Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown fame. Mike Zabrin is all of 22 years old and is already considered a bass player phenom. And to have a debut album that comes out swinging like Funkatastic is a feat in itself, but Mike surrounded himself with some incredible musicians, producers and performers to create what we consider one of the best albums of the year.”

“There is a dynamic new artist on the scene whose talents can’t be ignored, and his name is Mike Zabrin. The Chicago-based bassist and producer is one of the most gifted young musicians to emerge in the R&B/funk arena in quite some time. In May of this year, Zabrin released his debut album, Funktastic, which has been creating quite a buzz—garnering praise from noted music publications and capturing the imagination of jazz, R&B and funk lovers around the world. The 11-track collection is a rich gumbo of jazz, soul, funk and R&B with a dash of hip hop thrown in the mix; and it showcases the 22-year-old’s prodigious skills as a bassist.”

"Mike has tremendous control and confidence in his instrument tonally and harmonically, but maintains a fun and low-down funky vibe. His impressive solo on this track showcases his jazz influences while remaining deep in the pocket, capturing the fun vibe and fire of Mike’s voice. The musicians in the band are top-notch; the horn lines in Mike’s power-house 8 piece band really give this track life, reminiscent of Tower of Power."