Thursday, 12 August 2010

Incognito - Transatlantic RPM - 2010 - Dome

Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick and the gang have truly excelled themselves this time, big style. I have appreciated Incognito, but not been a massive fan, but with time and tide they have worked their magic on me more and more and this CD has really cemented their relationship with my heart. After hearing this CD I want to shake the man by the hand if not give him a bear hug. Not a track goes by on this album without my thinking 'this is brilliant'. One cannot be untouched by this album, and for my money within 30 seconds i was sold and drawn in hook, line and sinker. Their rendition of Boz Scaggs' "Lowdown" is simply awe-inspiring...the flute and warm 1980s keys are majestic enough, but WOW! This is a duet between The hippest of Hipsters Mario Biondi and the sassy and uber-sexy Chaka Khan. Man, do they have a ball! This is a track of epic proportions! Lucky Iam appears with his silky smooth vocals and cool rap on the SUPERB "Everything That We Are" and Bluey brings on the warm, summery soulful funk. If you appreciate rap by Little Brother's Phonté or even Craig G then this is going to appeal to you. This track reminds of the recent monster sets by Liquid Spirits and Jazzanova. Absolutely superb.

A song that is garnering a lot of airplay is "1975". I love this, and the Incognito brass section and scratchy guitar rhythm is up and running big style, and for long-time fans of Bluey this is going to be heaven. Joy Rose is our heroine on vocals here and she reminds us of a much more friendly and warm musical era. A slightly Southern feel, courtesy of some Memphis style horns and bassline greets Maysa's sexy delivery head on and both create the magical mix of "Your Sun My Sky". Love this. You will also want to hear the summery, string-laden Leon Ware inclusion, "Line In The Sand", a track that suits both Incognito and Leon Ware very well. This gentleman oozes class and none of his talents have diminished over the past decades. Still a towering force and one of the most important and influential artists, writers and producers of our time, I am proud that Incognito have given the Great man a spotlight here until we hear news of any new album from this Legend. Chaka Khan delivers a truly joyous moment with "The Song" and hits us like a pleasurable mix of Steely Dan and, of course, Rufus! Chaka, too, remains a strong vocalist and needs to be giving us some more beautiful music soon.

The superb Tony Momrelle is someone we have championed in the exponent of wonderful soul and dance music, Bluey crafts a perfect mix of soulful stepper and uplifting funky house US stylee. Genius, genius, genius. Follow that? Hmm. They do, and in spectacular fashion. the warm mid 70s flavour of "All Of My Life" cannot be touched and the whole vibe is timeless, and makes me feel warm, gooey and glad to be alive! Fans of Mr. Momrelle and THAT timeless 1981 sound will die happy having listened to "Make Room For Love". LISTEN TO THIS, AMERICA!!!!!!! THIS IS R&B!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop creating auto-tuned rubbish with whiners masqueraded as vocalists and listen to REAL singers, REAL instruments and REAL soul. Enough is enough. Until they bother listening then Bluey and his entourage have every possible high ground and are more than beating our American Cousins at their (once) own game. Long may this continue. To add emphasis on this, in steps our cool Italian vocal genius, Mario Biondi with the funky, punchy and brassy "Can't Get Enough". Chris Brown? Usher? Akon? Forget about it, kids...this is the real stuff, and people will be loving this in 20 - 30 years time, long after you have been forgotten. Class will always win the day and should you have any doubts just check out the final track which has me in pieces and has me begging for MORE. "Tell Me What To Do" is the finest, smoothest track that could polish off this gargantuan album and I am asking that you own this CD and cherish it as soon as possible. This, folks, is REAL music from a real master and real artists supporting him. Beyond essential.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe