Posts Tagged ‘ Incognito ’

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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Incognito – In Search of Better Days

InSOBDYou would think that a 37-year-old band would rest on its laurels…right? No, not Incognito! The band is as creative and full of fire as it was at its conception in 1979. A rare feat in these days and times.

Their 17th studio album, In Search of Better Days, will have Incognito fans grinning ear to ear and will be released on June 24th, 2016 on earMUSIC (Europe) and Shanachie Entertainment (US). The fresh, uncompromising, soulful, Jazz-Funk-laden songs and instrumentals that are the bones of Incognito continue to shine through . . . and there is more. The sound of Bluey’s London for over three and a half decades weaves its way throughout this album and gives it flesh, with splashes of Drum & Bass and Broken Beats, Rare Groove, Deep Soulful House, and even influences from the Rock and Blues that were at the heart of the UK scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

From the driving bass of featured guest Stuart Zender on the opening track, you know that this album is upping the ante and it’s going to be one hell of a good ride! Imaani, Vanessa Haynes, Tony Momrelle, Katie Leone, Vula Malinga — the UK’s finest and most soulful voices hit you relentlessly one after the other with songs that will remain with you from the first hearing. And as if that was not enough to make this one of Incognito’s best albums, in comes American chanteuse extraordinaire aka “the voice of Incognito” — Maysa, to seal the deal! Continue reading

Incognito – Amplified Soul

I’m a big fan of Incognito. You are too right? So you know that this CD, the band’s 16th studio album celebrates the band’s 35th anniversary. Who imagined that as they held their vinyl copy of “Jazz Funk” in their hands?

So come on, let’s see how things sound in 2014… ‘Amplify my Soul (Part 1)’ is a pleading vocal intro which sets the tone for the rest of the album and that tone is emotion – it’s a technically outstanding record but it’s about moods and feelings, as Incognito records (thank God) usually are.

‘I Couldn’t Love You More’ is a mid-tempo, horn-laden vocal which is a pure delight and Bluey’s guitar solo is an exercise in good taste. ‘Rapture’ treads that same path of great lyric and strong female vocal draped over that bubbly, uplifting rhythm section. If you’re feeling good now, another strong female vocal (with a serious dose of attitude) will make you feel even better on the anthemic ‘Hands Up if You Wanna be Loved’. I have tickets to see Incognito in July 2014 and please, please, let them play this.

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Incognito – Amplified Soul

ASAmplified Soul, the 16th studio album from Incognito, consists of 16 new recordings soaked in soul, coated in jazz with more than a twist of funk and dance. Or as Bluey puts it: “This is a labour of love, a gift to those who have supported us over the years”.

Recorded and mixed at the legendary Livingston Studio in North London where The Buena Vista Social Club‘s eponymous multi-million selling first album was mixed and also Björk‘s 1993 debut album recorded and mixed, this album features singers Tony Momrelle, Vanessa Haynes and new addition Katie Leone who provide some of the best vocal performances ever recorded by the band. They are joined by legendary singer songwriter Carleen Anderson and Connecticut born funkstress Deborah Bond and the return one of the Incognito fans favourite Imaani, with the addition of a totally fresh voice on the scene in the form of the soulful 22 year old Australian debutant Chiara Hunter.

Guitarist, main producer and band leader Bluey once again leads his tight rhythm section of Francis Hylton on bass, Matt Cooper on keyboards, Francesco Mendolia on drums and the young percussion sensation Joao Caetano to create a bed of soulful funky irresistible grooves that are punctuated by the trademark Incognito horns. At times on this album the band navigates towards a darker sound than on their previous works offering the listener a new adventure with wonderfully crafted songs wrapped in warm tones. At other times they just get joyously funky!

There are guest performances by original Jamiroquai drummer Nick Van Gelder on two cuts, the awesome alto saxophonist Nigel Hitchcock, synthesizer wizard Ski Oakenfull, Elements Of Life percussionist Roberto Quintero, and Incognito regular contributor Richard Bull and many more. From the plaintive opening number “Amplify My Soul” you get echoes of a classic era that could be easily associated with Marvin Gaye or Stevie’s offerings from the 70’s, to the bubbly, bouncy, catchy number that is immediate and infectious “Hats (Make Me Wanna Holler)”, the album unites all of Incognito’s best character traits. If ever Incognito had a festival crowd anthem, then “Hands Up If You Wanna Be Loved” is it!

For pre-order available at Amazon.

Incognito – Surreal

I’ll nail my colours to the mast right away and say that I’m always excited to hear a new Incognito CD. Having been a fan since 1981 and having had the pleasure of interviewing leader Bluey a few years ago, my love of this band’s music shows no signs of waning.

So, it’s 2012 and instead of having a piece of vinyl to cherish, I have a download courtesy of Shanachie Records to carefully file and write about.

Let’s jump straight in and ride the incredible groove of ‘The Less you Know’. I don’t have musician credits but I don’t need them to recognise the silky, sexy voice of Maysa Leak and I don’t think she has ever sounded better. The production is flawless with lots of room for drums, bass, snazzy horns and that gorgeous vocal. The breakdown makes the hairs on my neck stand up! And when the JB-style snare snaps in to announce ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’ it’s clear that the dancing is set to continue. A male lead vocal, some sneaky rhythm guitar and some even sneakier horns and you’ve got a recipe for success.

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Incognito – Transatlantic R.P.M.

Starting as best kept secret the group Incognito has reached meanwhile cult status worldwide. Fourteen studio albums, thirteen compilations, live or remixed albums and several site projects. Fans of Incognito really haven’t to complain about a lack of activity.

The group is constantly touring around the globe and isn’t to shy to play in stadiums or small clubs. The band’s front-man, composer, record producer, guitarist and singer is Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick. He assembles around him a variety of musicians open for new style and streams.

The new album Transatlantic R.P.M. was recorded in studios in London and California, which explains the title of the new album. “It’s about actually making that physical journey to America to collaborate with those artists from my record collection who came over from there, brought their music to the UK, and really influenced what we did back in the day,” comments Bluey.

Following this idea he invited well-known artists of the new world to join his recordings. Bluey continues: “People like Chaka Khan, Leon Ware and Al McKay are artists of the same mind as us, in that they don’t play this type of music just because they only know how to play their old songs. So, when we all work together, we’re constantly trying to still get maximum creativity out of this.”

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Incognito – Transantlantic RPM

The long awaited new album from Incognito is almost with us. The band’s 30th anniversary album is titled Transantlantic RPM and is set for release on July 26 on Dome (Dome CD 306). In the States the album is distributed by Shanachie Entertainment, in Germany by Edel Records. The European and the American CDs have different covers! At Bluey’s request, Dome will also be releasing the album on double vinyl – Dome LP 306.

The album is truly stunning. Sixteen tracks in all, with special guests including Chaka Khan (on two tracks), Mario Biondi, the legendary Leon Ware, Al McKay of Earth Wind & Fire, Christian Urich of Tortured Soul, Ursula Rucker, and Los Angeles rapper Luckyiam.

This is like no other Incognito album you have heard before.

Also featured is a rare lead vocal performance from Bluey, who closes the album with “Tell Me What To Do”.

And regular Incognito vocalists Maysa, Joy Rose, Tony Momrelle and Vanessa Haynes are all featured.