by Dave Segal
on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 9:58 AM
(Jazz Alley) There's something sad when phenomenal old groups try to carry on decades past their prime with only a fraction of their original membership. Tours by these acts typically bring to mind thoughts of financial desperation, diminishing skills, and concern about the players not involved. With the Family Stone, one can't help thinking of leader Sly's awful downward spiral. Of course, he's not participating in this venture. However, original trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Greg Errico, and saxophonist Jerry Martini are in the lineup, and all had a role in some of the most dynamic, exciting, funky, and soulful songs ever conceived—an ultimate black/white/male/female explosion of pop. The Family Stone's other four members may not be household names, but the strength of the catalog guarantees hot fun in the wintertime, even without his Slyness.