The Pimps of Joytime sport a name that might be a little disconcerting to those who don’t know about their music. People see the word pimp on a CD cover, and they believe that they’ll be listening to track after track of misogynistic boasts. Women will be referred to as b*****s and other wise treated as objects for men’s perverted fantasies. If the listener manages to overcome those misconceptions and plays the record, they will quickly realize that the band’s name is something of a misnomer. The PJT is a party band that specializes in making the kind of danceable music that can be played at the family cookout. Their latest album, Janxta Funk!, sports love songs like the melodic “Honey.” That track features Roy Ayers doing some sweet vibe work over a mid-tempo Caribbean groove. “Honey’s” lyrics are equally sweet: “love is the honey of your smile/and when you touch me my heart goes wild/beautiful in every move/the naked truth is speaking through you.”
The Pimps’ main mission is getting folks on the dance floor, and they embrace that goal with gusto with the next tune, and electro/funk jam that is aptly named “Keep That Music Playing.” “Keep That Music Playing” is driven by a pulsating bass line and features the band’s vocalists encouraging DJs around the country to – well – keep playing the music. The song checks in at a hefty 6:26, but the time goes fast as the tune is chock full of tempo changes, throbbing percussion work and a variety of voices. All of these things work together to keep the track fresh. The energetic “That’s the Way We Do” bounces from rock to funk, to disco to techno and rap. “Temporary Condition” is a relationship joint that sports a jaunty bass line that is interspersed with keyboards and horns. The track may remind some listeners of Con Funk Shun. “Heart is Wild,” is a straight up funk record that fuses rock and soul and delivers a message of rebellion and independence.
The PJT’s are a New York based band, and that means contains more than a little Latin influence. Those influences flow on “Blues Wit U,” a jazz/funk meets Mambo number that closes out “Blues Wit U” pretty much sums up the Pimps of Joytime. The band comes from a place that is awash with all kinds of cultural influences and musical influences. “Blues Wit U” begins with a Mambo groove that morphs Latin Jazz. One thing becomes clear after listening to Janxta Funk!, the Pimps of Joytime never let their groove become a rut. They don’t linger in one genre very long, and the band is rarely content to wait for the song to end before sliding into a different tempo or genre. They’ll make you sweat, and that’s probably a dance band’s highest calling. Recommended
By Howard Dukes