The four-group "Body Blast Jam" Saturday night at the Long Beach Arena shaped up as a heady evening of funk par excellence. It didn't exactly work out that way, largely because of the headlining Gap Band's drab, unenergetic performance.
Klymaxx and Zapp didn't ignite things either. Klymaxx, an all-female sextet, played with assurance, but the humor-laced R&B of hits like "Meeting in the Ladies Room" is still better defined on vinyl than on stage. Zapp's synthesizer-based funk seemed directionless, leaving newcomers Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew as the night's highlight. The group, whose rap-propelled "The Show" is a staple on black radio, gave the near-capacity house exactly what it wanted: fat-bottomed funk for dancing in the aisles. The Gap Band, which seemed to take its star status for granted, ought to take a few pointers from those guys.