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Sugarman Three

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The Sugarman Three, sometimes called Sugarman 3, is a retro-funk band from New York formed in 1996 by saxophonist Neal Sugarman, Hammond organ player Adam Scone, and drummer Rudy Albin.

Neal Sugarman grew up in Newton, Massachusetts and played saxophone for punk rock bands Boys Life and Black Cat Bone during the 1980s. He moved to New York in the early 1990s to pursue jazz. After a stint in New Orleans playing with musicians including Eddie Henderson and Mike Longo, Sugarman returned to New York and formed a funk band with organist Adam Scone and drummer Rudy Albin. The trio, named The Sugarman 3, were influenced by artists such as “Brother” Jack McDuff and The Meters. The band was among the musicians who established Desco Records, a label that released reissues of 1960s and 1970s funk and jazz records in addition to material by current acts.

The Sugarman Three’s debut album, Sugar’s Boogaloo, was released in 1998. Soul Donkey followed in 2000, and included cover versions of songs by James Brown and Lou Donaldson along with original songs by the band. A compilation album, 2001’s Sweet Spot, contained selections from the trio’s first two albums. In 2002, the band released their third album, Pure Cane Sugar. It featured guest appearances by funk percussionist Bernard Purdie and vocalists Lee Fields and Charles Bradley. Tom Moon of Rolling Stone described the album as “organic, locked-tight music.

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