Thursday, 11 March 2010

Robin Duhe - Do It Duhe - 2003 - Blaise Two

Having reviewed Robin Duhe's latest CD we thought it a great idea to highlight his last set from 2003, "Do It Duhe", which is still very much available. A funkier set and perhaps less Maze-orientated than his latest essential offering, this album really fits in with the funky Jazz-fusion material that the likes of Evan Marks, Eddie M or the late, great Wayman Tisdale was putting out in the late 90s / early 00s. The Tisdale-ish uptempo number "Do It Duhe" opens the set in a strident, no-nonsense fashion. Rodney Franklin sounds great on Fender Rhodes and Strings and the chunky rhythm reminds me of the tougher material on Darryle Chinn's excellent Mojazz album from 1996. The brilliant ex-Tower Of Power / Jeff Lorber / solo vocalist Michael Jeffries appears on a number of songs - first up is the urban jam "Satin Girl" which also features the spoken word at the start by Curtis V.

Jazzier is the gorgeous "Cruis'n" which features Michael Jeffries again and a great Marcus Miller styled bassline courtesy of our hero, Robin Duhe! Trust me, this track is superb. A Maze-like groove appears with much aplomb on "Act Like You Know", and Vince Lars' sax is absolutely top-notch. The crowning glory for me on this album, however, is the brilliant midtempo effort "Real Deal" which again features the classy Michael Jeffries. This track is summer personified...the 80s-styled rhythm guitar, synths, Billy Johnson's drum work and James Henry's percussion make this a really strong, memorable cut. Definitely a highlight of the set it was a firm favourite of Richard Searling back at the time and no wonder...a great track. Fans of Kool and The Gang will soon recognize Odean Mays on the Marcus Miller-ish "When We're Making Love". Keith Simons takes centre stage as lead vocalist on "Nia" and steals the show along with Ron Smith's lush acoustic guitar. Lovely! A release that needs to be checked out or dug out the collection for re-appraisal. Y2K niceness!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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