From KCRW blog contributor Frank Aceves:
Jungle Fire is an afro-latin funk band, with roots stemming deep in LA’s funk scene.
You may have seen Judson McDaniel playing guitar with Breakestra or Steve Haney as part of The Greyboy All Stars. You may have noticed Sam Halterman banging the drums with Orgone. But you have NEVER heard this sound come from an LA based funk band.
Don’t get me wrong. We’ve heard the above-mentioned LA touch on these sounds, but Jungle Fire adds a bit more Latin influence, through the use of an extended percussion section of congas, bongos, timbales, and bata drums.
Check out their track “Tokuta” and download it right here:
In the studio, up to 12 members are contributing. During their live performances, the group is tapered down to an 8-piece outfit (with the majority being percussion).
“The idea behind Jungle Fire is to re-introduce the obscure (and familiar) latin/afro funk tunes that never get a chance to be heard live,” said bassist Joey Reina. “Most importantly keeping it authentic and coming correct by paying particular attention to the tone of the instruments and the musicianship involved. Super funky rhythm section, heavy percussion and fiery horns… that’s the blueprint of the Jungle Fire sound.”
The band pulls influences from artists such as Ray Barretto, Enrique Lynch, and Soul Vibrations.
Originally a side project that Joey put together for a festival performance in Chinatown last summer, the guys eventually recorded tracks at Killion Sound Studios, with engineering help from longtime Breakestra/Orgone contributor Sergio Rios.
Kelly Finnigan from the Monophonics, a psychedelic soul band from San Francisco, heard the tunes and shared them with Terry Cole at Colemine Records, who inquired about pressing the record. Colemine released Jungle Fire’s debut 45 with a cover of Fela Anikulapu Kuti’s “Let’s Start” on the a-side, and “Tokuta” on the b-side.
Jungle Fire has been performing around the Los Angeles area more frequently so hopefully you can catch them soon.
Also, be on the lookout for future 7-inch releases from the band and hopefully a full length album in the next year.
Here’s another track to hold you over.