Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Live Tropical Fish - The Day Is Too Short To Be Selfish - 2010 - LTF Records

The group name 'Live Tropical Fish' isn't a name you would associate with a quality soul / R&B / Jazz outfit, and as such some may be tempted to browse past this album. PLEASE DON'T!!!!! The album is exquisite and for those of you who appreciate the verve of Italy's abundance of soulful and Jazzy talent and also appreciate the live, soulful feel of Count Basic or the Llangau Big Band then this is so going to be up your street. Bristling with real musicians utilising their instruments to the max, the vocalists come into their own. I am a real fan of all concerned, and it's warming to see and hear artists such as Live Tropical Fish coming to the forefront, again showing the music originators in the US that they have soooooooo come off the rails. Okay, so the feel of the music is LIVE. It's gorgeously and professionally recorded and presented and as top-draw as you could ever hope for. The sexy vocals of Deborah Jordan remind me so much of Marva King - think George Howard's "Find Your Way" - and she is the best icing on the tastiest of cakes on our opening effort, "Peace Of Mind".

The UK's superb singer Laurnea is a real talent - and one who has yet to have her day. Her excellence is shown her by these fellas who know exactly how to pitch a groove with a sassy, no-nonsense vocalist. Laurnea is a rare breed of female singer who have a smoothness, yet possess a rough edge. There is a real bite inherent in her voice - something that the squeaky R&B teens simply do not possess. On "Breath Again" Laurnea toys with us...she can be sexy but like Millie Jackson can soon explode with vocal prowess in sheer catharsis. Keep an eye on this Lady. Tha album takes on a righteous tone with the personal commentaries of life and experience. Vocalist Nick Rolfe takes on racism and prejudice head on in a Jamiroqai meets Darryl Hall moment with a great Incognito flow! The ultra-delicious April Hill wades in with the brassy and jiggly "A Rather Uncomfortable Combination". Her precise, clear, soulful and sexy vocals are perfectly matched on this live, raw groove. Think Tower Of Power meets Nikki Richards. Oh yeah!

My favourite song, however, is the dreamy and slightly horny "Double Dream". The guitar and percussion gently sway like palm trees on a stunning white beach, Laurnea's wispish vocals draw you in almost in a conspiratorial fashion...but the bassline is the killer. It's deep, dirty and evokes a more carnal flavour. Or is it just me?! Whatever the case, this is an AWESOME track. The TOP-ish "Run And Hide" again makes use of the lovely Deborah Jordan and I have to really applaud the guys for their ability to craft adult, serious and meaningful lyrics. This is wholesome music and you get what you need on here - this CD ticks all the right boxes for your musical health! Fans of the brilliant Alison Crockett will love her performance on the dramatic, frantically brassy "Slide Away", and the UK's superb Omar dives in with a latin feel on "Rubber Soul" (NOT the Beatles song of the same name!) Maya Azucena also joins the fray and works her magic on "Rising Bible". Everyone, without exception, excels and more on this CD. This is one that I can do nought but highly recommend.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe