Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Excellent Gentlemen - Just Say Yes - 2009 - Excellent Gentlemen

You should already be familiar with this excellent group, and the accounts of those who have seen them perform live is one of sheer entertainment, funky soulfulness and above all, freshness. Hailing from New York, but now based in Oregon, Excellent Gentleman have established themselves as one of the hottest bands on the live music scene, and the freshness, the vibrancy and inventiveness that you would expect from such a show is perfectly encapsulated on this, their first recordings to disc. The vibes are very much set in the 70s and 80s and the atmosphere is uptempo and feel-good. This five-piece group really have a lot to shout about and the tone is set immediately with the brilliant Summery "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" crammed with real instrumentation, warm rhythms and a dreamy melody. I love this, and it simply does not stop there. The CD flows on in this vein without becoming monotonous or well-trodden. Next up is a funky number a la Zapp / Roger with "Get Down Baby". The funk is very apparent and the talkbox really sounds great - fans of Roger will love this.

The amusingly titled "The Ass Dance" is pure party-time fun; dreamy keyboards and Impromp2 styled rap is totally at home on this album. You will love this groove, and the sultry and soulful downtempo groove of "Hard Gentleman" takes me back to late '70s Frankie Beverly and Maze. It's the keys and bassline that works this to great effect and the result is superb. "You Gotta Believe" is an excellent 80s Summer-time groover. PERFECT for a lovely warm day such as today. The dreamy keys, loose vibe and real drumbeats and soulful vocals courtesy of David Valentine, Jefferson Sechs and Steveland Swatkins make this a toothsome delight indeed. Come on, who in their right wants drivel like "Boom Boom Pow" when there is REAL music such as this on the market? Come on, seriously! "All In Time" washes the floor with diatribe like that and all of the 'auto-tuned' teeny vocalists on the market at the moment. Excellent Gentlemen certainly live up to their name, and any doubters (of which, I am sure, will be none!) simply need to check out the socially conscious "Vote For Love" for the knockout blow. Guest vocalist Paul Creighton is excellent and has immediately won my respect. If you are looking for a true no-risk purchase to act as your soundtrack to this Summer then look no further that "Just Say Yes". All I can say is...excellent, Gentlemen!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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