Monday, 9 February 2009

Count Basic - Love And Light

Count Basic have been delivering the goods now under this guise since 1994, and if you love their previous work then this set will certainly not disappoint. It’s of the usual high quality, and the musical journey is varied with different soundscapes ranging from the outright jazzy through to sassy soul and delving into funkier territory. The album will, as you would expect, appeal to lovers of Incognito (Peter Legat once being attached to this unit back in the 70s) and I can easily draw comparisons to the recent work of the All-Star Collective. The instruments are real and this gives every track a real serious vibe. You cannot beat real instruments! You also cannot go wrong with the talent that are contained within Count Basic, the most notable being the wonderfully delicious and sexy Kelli Sae, and ex Motown and Naked Music NYC singer, Ada Dyer, who is more than sturdy on backing vocals. Musically and vocally, this album wins out. My first shining star is the brassy and warm “Love And Light”, the bluesy guitar, Rhodes, horns and fluid drums all hark back to the good times, and “No Visible Scars” harks back further. The bluesy undertone and Rhodes give a 70s Miami flavour, and those who delved into Joss Stone’s debut CD will dig this. My favourite cut is the addictive “Love Thang”. Kelli Sae is delightful on this summertime vibe, and the angle is very much an early 80s one – I can see the likes of Steve Harvey really appreciating this cut. I love this cut to pieces! Also, “I Wanna Get Off” works well on a variety of levels. Its gentle, warm late 70s feel cannot go wrong. Kelli, again, is magic. “Right All The Time” has a more righteous groove and is catchy to boot. The sheer optimism and happiness of “Sun Shines On You” works well, but for me is overshadowed by a KILLER instrumental “Back To Nice”. This is real jazz, none of your smooth jazz muzak. It has a definite vibe, a sultry backdrop and bluesy riff a la Earl Klugh or even Norman Brown at his MoJazz best. Nice vibes too! What a corker! Check out the evening cricket song at the tail end of the song. This is a perfect close to this CD and one for a warm, summer night. I also love the cover artwork courtesy of Franke. Recommended!

Barry Towler

Buy on Amazon