The Unity Sextet is a special kind of band. Buddy Franco, Fats Young Jr., Cassius Farqhuar, Junior Oliver, Chuck Waldron and 'Fat Thumbs' Ronnie met in spring of 2011 whilst playing at different jazz festivals in different bands with different genres ranging from traditional to experimental jazz. Co-incidentally they noticed that they shared the same vision of an open-minded, eclectic jazz style, being upfront and modern whilst still keeping the respect for the past masters. They only later found out that they all hailed from the same region in south-west England. It was like it was meant to be...
Buddy Franco had an idea: being friends with renowned producer and Freestyle Records recording artist Lack of Afro, he asked him whether he would be up for an impromptu, spontaneous session and act as producer, arranger and engineer. Said and done: The Unity Sextet was formed a couple of weeks later, setting up shop in the former warehouse (now recording studio) known as The Playhouse. They lived and worked there through to the end of the summer before moving to Lack of Afro's studio in a former factory just down the road near Exeter.
The result of the session is simply called "The Unity Sextet" and features thirteen original tracks. Think of Gilles Peterson's legendary "That's How It Is" nights at Bar Rumba, Pharoah Sanders' spiritual, outerwordly excursions, the cool grooves of A Tribe Called Quest or the relaxed sounds of the Horace Silver band and you are getting there. Check out "Do Me A Fredo" or "Dance Of The Pharoahs" and you could imagine yourself in Paris Saint Germain sometime during the mid Sixties. Then nod along to "Black Pearl" or "Right Now" and it's Soho, London circa late Eighties or early Nineties.
"The Unity Sextet" is about recognizing the past but stil walking a step ahead, and being on the spot without being in a rush. Theirs is a completely instrumental album but still has a lot to say. It is out on CD, digital download and vinyl.