Archive for the ‘ Soul ’ Category

Will Downing – Black Pearls

Soul and R&B legend Will Downing can look back on 19 albums and 28 years of recording. During his severe life period. while he was suffering under Polymyositis, he learned to appreciate his life. Since 2009 after complete recovery he released several further albums to satisfy his fan community.

Black Pearls (2016) is a new interpretation of chart-topping hits of female voices of the R&B genre. The immaculate sound is produced by the musicians Mike Logan II (drums), Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, Al Turner, Kenny Davis, Gerald Veasley and Melvin Davis (bass), Randy Bowland (guitar), Pablo Batista (percussion), Mike Logan Sr. (keyboards), Najee (sax), Kirk Whalum (flute), and many more.

Everything I Miss At Home opens the bouquet. The song was originally created by the famous Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis team and released by Cherelle in 1988. Downing shows in which direction his voice is heading.

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Incognito – In Search Of Better Days

InSOBDThe attainment of happiness is well anchored in all human beings. Happiness can be understood as the moral goal of life, as an aspect of chance or as unquenchable thirst. This pursuit of happiness is also the fundamental mood of Incognito‘s new album In Search of Better Days.

The presence with its manifold problems gives us plenty of opportunity to develop this desire. Music seems to be a proven escapement capability from this dilemma. But music should not be overloaded with more ideology.

Bluey’s 17th studio album features his crew: Singers Imaani, Vanessa Haynes, Tony Momrelle, Katie Leone, Vula Malinga and of course Maysa, pianist Avery Sunshine, drummer Richard Spaven, percussionist Jody Linscott, and Japanese guitar legend Tomoyasu Hotei of Kill Bill fame. It’s the sound of London, acid jazz as only Bluey can create.

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Moon Base – High

German keyboardist and songwriter Thomas Motter has already released four albums. In the center of this review is his third album entitled High (2012) launched under the project name Moon Base. Thomas comments: “On a more abstract level a “moon base” is so similar to a train station, an extraterrestrial connection station. And a meeting – in this case for musicians and lovers of jazz, funk & soul!”

Motter opens the set with Fine Tuning. With spoken words by LyricL aka Lillian Mgbado the tune gets an underground character. More in the soul realm is to find the title song featuring the lovely voice of late Helen Taylor. The ideal addition is Bill Evans on sax who completes the vocal line on his instrument with great empathy.

On Apollo Interlude Motter interferes with spacey sounds on his Roland V-Synth. Moon Cookies offers some vocal sweets with Karl Frierson served the funky way. Do Me Like A Lion featuring Menoosha Susungi must be understood as sonic piece of art. The emergence of a love relationship is outlined in catchy words, accompanied with a grippy slap bass. The refrain is placeholder for the unspoken sexual act.

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Thomas Motter – Lost & Loved

German keyboardist and songwriter Thomas Motter has already released four albums. The debut No Return (2005) and the second album Nite Angel (2006) are published under the project name “t-mc”. The abbreviation “t-MC” stands for “Thomas, Master of Ceremony”. His third album High (2012) is released under the project name “moon base”.

Thomas comments: “On a more abstract level a “moon base” is so similar to a train station, an extraterrestrial connection station. And a meeting – in this case for musicians and lovers of jazz, funk & soul!” His recent album Lost & Loved (2013) is released under his own name Thomas Motter and mastered by Eric Zobler.

Stylistically remains Thomas faithfully to jazz, funk and soul compared to his previous projects. The album opens with Star featuring soul singer LeNora Jaye. A hip ballad about one’s willpower, which is able to prevail over the life adversities and makes you a star.

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Maysa – Back 2 Love

One of the leading soul singers of her time Maysa has grown to the queen of hearts. Known as top vocalist of the British Jazz-Funk band Incognito she regularly release her own solo projects. Maysa (1995), All My Life (2000), Out Of The Blue (2002), Smooth Sailing (2004), Sweet Classic Soul (2006), Feel The Fire (2007), Metamorphosis (2008), A Woman in Love (2010), Motions Of Love (2011), Blue Velvet Soul (2013) and A Very Maysa Christmas (2014) are her previous albums. Back 2 Love is her newest project.

Maysa comments꞉ “The music represents who I am as a woman and a human being who lives to love people. As a professional singer I should be able to sing anything and my records are just me trying to love everyone. And that’s why I am proud to be able to go from Jazz to R&B to Pop, etc.”

The album already reveals with the first track the new direction. Back 2 Love is wrapped as a dance tune to appeal younger audience. Fortunately Maysa still presents her unaltered natural voice as we love it. Keep It Movin’ grooves in R&B style featuring Stokley, lead singer of the group Mint Condition. In the smooth jazz genre, we meet him on recordings by Brian Culbertson, U-Nam or Boney James.

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Maysa – Back 2 Love

Back 2 BackThere are very few singers on the contemporary scene who have a unique, instantly identifiable vocal sound; there are even fewer who have the stylistic range to encompass both Jazz and R&B in their performances. Grammy-nominated Soul/Jazz diva Maysa, who celebrates her 20th year as a recording artist this year, marks that achievement with her new album Back 2 Back, a tour-de-force that validates her status as the greatest Soul-Jazz singer of her generation-the latest in a distinguished line of singers that stretches back through Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Angela Bofill, Marlena Shaw and more recently, Ledisi and Chrisette Michele.

Back 2 Love, which is set for a May 26th release, may be her widest-ranging album yet, incorporating contemporary R&B, jazzy Soul balladry, straight-up dance music, inspirational pop and more. With production from the likes of J.R. Hutson (Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire), Lorenzo Johnson (Ledisi), Stokley Williams (Mint Condition, Kelly Price, Wale’), and Chris “Big Dog” Davis (Kim Burrell, George Clinton), the album coheres around Maysa’s peerless vocalizing highlighted by her amazingly rich, evocative vocal tone. That’s the sound that led her mentor Stevie Wonder to proclaim “Maysa is WONDERful!” In the wake of her first Grammy nomination and Soul Train Music Award, it seems that the world-at-large is finally recognizing just how special an artist Maysa is.

Back 2 Love represents the fact that I’m ready to get back to having a personal life with a very special man in my life. I have worked hard on my career so I could take care of us (my son and I). My son is almost 16 and I think he is old enough to have a mom who is going to be dating and possibly married. The music is exactly who I am. Being a Shanachie artist, I was always given the freedom to express who I am musically but this time I feel like spiritually we all went to a pure place to get this music. The music represents who I am as a woman and a human being who lives to love people. As a professional singer I should be able to sing anything and my records are just me trying to love everyone. And that’s why I am proud to be able to go from Jazz to R&B to Pop, etc.” Continue reading

Bluey – Life Between The Notes

Jean Paul Maunik, better known as Bluey, is the icon of acid jazz. He is founder and leader of the project Incognito, with which he has released fifteen studio albums as well as a number of live albums, remix albums and compilation albums. Before he was a member of the group Light of the World. His further projects are Citrus Sun and Innershade.

In 2013 he released his first solo debut album Leap of Faith. His sophomore solo album Life Between The Notes will be released in Japan this week, in UK on April 20 (Dôme Records) and in USA on Apr 28, 2015 (Shanachie Entertainment).

The album starts with the appetizer Dance To My Drums. A bass line and pushing drums are underlining the message. Life Between The Notes conjures the open road of soul, R&B and acid jazz. With a keen sense of harmony Bluey exerts his sensitive voice and even presents some overtones. With electronic accents, bass rhythms and hand clapping Hold On is well prepared for the club scene.

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