FAME Review: Toph-E & the Pussycats - No Ordinary Day
Toph-E & the Pussycats - No Ordinary Day

No Ordinary Day

Toph-E & the Pussycats

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Okay, weird damned name, I hafta admit, but not at all indicative of what they create. In point of fact, though, I never expected to see these guys together in one band. Nonetheless, they've been at it for a full decade, and this CD is witness to what a great combination the ensemble is. Composed of cats who have chiefly been esteemed as sessioneers since approximately the Cretaceous, boasting a credit list of sit-ins that would choke even Tony Levin, the ultra professional work of Ralph MacDonald (perc.), Chris Parker (drums), Will Lee (bass), David Mann (saxes), and Cliff Carter (keys) provides a dozen cuts bringing to mind the old Larsen-Feiten Band, echoes of the Crusaders by way of Chuck Mangione, and any number of silky-smooth mood masters.

No Ordinary Day is largely instrumental and could not have come a moment too soon. In an era of increasing stress and anxiety, this is sonic tonic while also a great showcase of oases of ready-steady improv and stylish rhythm sectioning. Even when waxing boppy, there's a satiny finish to everything, such that I would not have been at all displeased to see these bad boys of the down-low open for Sade. The title cut is particularly moody but oh so refreshing for it, and when Mann doubles up on himself, the effect is like cool water.

It's not hard to discern why Miles, Mick Jagger, Steely Dan, Frank Sinatra, Bryan Ferry, George Benson, and a staggering array of top-flight artists have chosen all members of this band for session work; their chops are of the finest vintage. I very fondly recall when MacDonald was oft playing beside John Tropea when I was but a young lad picking up sides from CTI, Kudu, Blue Note, and various other funky mello-groove merchants, and the guy, famed then, has gotten nothing but better, as have they all. Pick up this dulcet diamond when the world has finally gotten on your last nerve and you need a creative soma to drive away woe and worry—in other words: tomorrow.

Track List:

  • Pussyfoot (Lee / Mann)
  • It Seems to Me (David Mann)
  • No Ordinary Day (Lee / Mann)
  • Ostinato (David Mann)
  • Of Everything I Know (Daquilo Que Eu Sei) (Martins / Lins / Lee)
  • Tee (Tee / Tee / Parker)
  • BlackHouse (Lee / Mann)
  • Un Nuevo Mundo (Carter)
  • Opus de Trophe (CHew / Parker)
  • Tatchedogbe (Kijdo / Hebrail)
  • Impromtoph (Schubert / Parker)
  • Maiden Voyage (Herbie Hancock)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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