In 2001, not long before Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings set the world on fire with its update of James Brown-styled funk, a group of Iowa City jazzbos was squeezing out its own take on '60s-era instrumental soul. That group was the Diplomats of Solid Sound, a band that gave the laidback grooves of Booker T. & the MG's and the syncopated funk of the Meters a shot of adrenaline. Nate Basinger's mighty Hammond B3 organ carries much of the weight and gives each song a percolating pulse, while a pair of saxophonists honk and squeal in harmony behind him. In recent years, the Diplomats have added vocals to their arsenal via the Diplomettes, the combined alias of vocalists Sarah Cram and Kathy Ruestow. Don't let the image of these fresh-faced Iowans fool you: Once the groove hits, your feet won't know the difference.
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