George Anderson Band – From Cape Town to London Live!

George Anderson’s bass has underpinned the sound of the hugely successful British jazz-funk outfit Shakatak since 1981. His very satisfying solo albums “Positivity” (2009) and “Expressions” (2012) have secured his reputation as a solo artist – and an invitation to fulfill a dream of playing in front of South African fans in December 2014.

Those fans were treated to the cream of the songs from those first two studio albums, kicking off with the insanely groovy, horn-laden Herbie. For me, a song this good underlines the relevance that British jazz-funk continues to have – I’ve always believed in it. Fans of soul vocals will love the sultry Cool Operator, High and Mighty Love and the hypnotic Weakness. Vocalists Janine ‘Blaq Pearl’ and Mikhaela Faye Kruger really do a fine job on these songs.

I’d love to have been in the audience for the crowd-pleasing Into U and Back in the Day. George grooves like crazy on these songs and the Stevie Wonder homage in Back in the Day sees him really throwing down. Of course, when a bassman fronts his own band live, we hope for a juicy solo and, oh yes, low-end fans can go nuts for Babel, just before the band flies into the utterly sublime Latin Love. It has delicious echoes of what George Duke was doing in the late 1970’s – I really can’t compliment it more highly than that. Props to drummer Bjorn Petersen’s superb off-the beat playing here. Nathan Carolus on guitar totally blazes and trumpeter Ian Smith takes a short but splendid solo, as does saxman Don Vino.

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