Archive for July 20th, 2009

Shakatak – Afterglow

There is no contemporary jazz group which can look back on such a long-lasting career than the UK-based formation Shakatak. One cannot pigeonhole their music to a special genre, they have their own unique style, some call it britfunk, which is undoubtedly a trademark. Since their first record (Bill Sharpe’s Steppin‘) in 1980 they have released a huge amount of albums which can be hardly surveyed. They have released more than 50 (!) albums and even their website doesn’t list all copies. A rather complete but unfortunately discontinued discography is to find on Ralf Henke’s website music lovers.

We are writing the year 2009. The music world has changed. Earlier success doesn’t count anymore. Sales rates in the music business are constantly declining. Supporting radio stations are changing their format. But there are still small islands of devoted fans of this cult group worldwide. This review is dedicated to these music aficionados. I have a message for you. Shakatak will continue their recording and Shaks’ new album Afterglow (2009) is available now.

Shakatak are Bill Sharpe (keyboards), Jill Saward (vocals), Roger Odell (drums) and George Anderson (bass). The group is joined by guest musicians Alan Wormold (guitar), Jacqui Hicks, Debbie Bracknell (backing vocals), who are also partners of Shakatak’s live shows, and Mornington Lockett (sax). Afterglow is an exquisite and balanced collection of instrumental and vocal songs with contributions of all band members.

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