Album Review: Lucky Chops


Henry Padnos

With the release of Lucky Chops’ first fully original album titled Lucky Chops comes an explosion of brass, pop, jazz, and creativity.

Throughout the eleven tracks, Lucky Chops fills the spaces of the songs, and dynamically paints pictures in our minds.

The album’s first song “Halfway To The Hudson” starts the album off with Charles Sams IV keeping the beat on drums. Meanwhile, Daro Behroozi on bari sax and Raphael Buyo on sousaphone lay down a funky foundation. The tenor sax (also Behroozi) then smoothly rides over it. Soon a soulful trombone arrives, and as the volume crescendos, the trumpet bursts on the scene. 

On the album’s single ”Full Heart Fancy” the tenor sax fills up the room with the first melody. The band swells together, leading up to the main melody played by Josh Gawel, who blows the door off the song, with his raw power on trumpet. Then the trombone (played by Josh Holcomb) shines, leading the way back to the swells, and back to the main melody.

The soft, soothing saxophone lines in “Flyaway” change the mood and the mind is left to wander with the serenity of the song.

Suddenly, the listener is whipped back into the explosion of sound with “Pizza Day”. The line “it’s pizza day” that goes along with the main melody (played by Josh Gawel), though never sung in the recorded version, can be found in the live version on YouTube. Here, Lucky Chops revisited their roots by playing at the Herald Square subway station, where they first gained fame with covers of songs such as “Funkytown”, “I Feel Good”, and “I Want You Back”.

The following song “Familiar Places” begins with the sound of a subway, another reminder of the band’s humble roots. The trombone comes in, eventually being replaced with the trumpet, which ties dance, pop, and funk into one dangerously good line.

The album’s final song, titled “Mo’ Momo!” composed by Raphael Buyo, sounds like it was taken right out of a car chase scene, or a bomb scene. The fast-paced tempo and the different lines coming out of each instrument sounds like the themes to different characters, frantically running from, or to danger. 

This album is one of the best albums to come out within the past year, and should (like any album) be listened to from the first beat to the last beat. It makes any day brighter and gives whoever listens to it a sense of joy and a burst of energy.