Thursday, 11 March 2010

E-Life - It's Time - 2010

E-Life is a collaborative effort featuring a number of talented vocalists and musicians. The CD itself states that this collaboration is one of spirit, time and talent and certainly not of rump-shaking or trash talking. Amen to that! It's great to see Diane Mathis appear again as I have not heard any of her work since "Flashback" and "Never Give Up" from the early 1990s. Diane sounds as great as ever and "Fallin' In Love" is a classy ballad that makes an album like this very much worthwhile. "Freak In Me" is not an urban rump shaker at all, but quite a funky Latin exercise that I could easily imagine getting an airing on the popular BBC TV show Strictly Come Yawning - sorry - Dancing - not that I watch that sort of thing of course..ahem! I only watched it as the wonderful Lance Ellington used to sing live every week...anyway I digress...

If sax is your bag then the sexy "Just Want To Love You" featuring the sax work of Don E White will be right up your Champs Elysee's! Some superb flugel horn in the style of Rick Braun or Chuck Mangione is also present and adds extra sparkle and pizazz to the mix. The funky stepper "I Want You" features a sexy performance from Diane Mathis and the chunky backbeat and synths courtesy of Don E Whyte and Edward J Taylor are excellent. Better still is the BRILLIANT beat ballad, "I'm Blessed" complete with jazzy bassline a la Norman Connors - an irresistible groove. The melody of "I Like Your Style" is a real finger clicker and the keyboard work reminds me very much of the style of Jaques Burvick and Norman Connors. Classy. Diane Mathis' "You Said" is a classy early '90s styled groove and one that I have played a LOT. If you appreciated the haunting opening style of Marion Meadows' "Morocco" from back in the day then you will instantly tune into the intro of the final track, "You're The One" which features a great lead male vocal - not sure who this is though but he is magnificent and plays off Diane Mathis very nicely to boot. A very worthy independent release and not to be overlooked.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe