The Euphonius Suite is a mix of various styles, all of which are music to the ears. Fans of Impromp2, Skalp and Jon B should find this set really in their comfort zone. Musically we are talking Impromp2 territory with an emphasis of a funky, warm Fender Rhodes filled summertime early '80s vibe. For some there may be too much reliance on rap BUT this isn't the brain-dead, finger-pointing, booty-shaking sort. Think classy with a Patrice Rushen / Freddie Washington vibe with the slab bass, soaring sax and warm keys. This set should have been in my hands in the summer, albeit typically brief. On the first track, Jameil lays out his stall. "Classy" says it all really. Sweeping aside who he calls the 'booty rappers' Jameil's guest rapper is Charles Lane and the vibe is SUPERB! You cannot fail to get into this groove, you really can't. The sax here is almost in Ronnie Laws' territory. Soulful rap with real spirit, and expertly laid down to boot. I really have all the time in the world for material like this that strikes a good balance and embraces genres...as long as it's done well. Jameil and his colleagues have certainly done that..
Charles lane's rap on "Koolwhip" is perfect for the summery 80s groove - fans of Snoop Dogg will dig this, as will those who appreciate funky early 80s vibes. My favourite track is the luxuriant downtempo ballad featuring Charles Lane on vocals sounding very much like Johnny Britt from Impromp2, complete trumpet and flute. This is SUPERB and I cannot stop playing this song!!! "We Don't Know" ups the tempo and includes some great alto sax from Andre Matthews, Charles lane sounding very much like A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip. Please do NOT be put off by these songs as they are very, very soulful and the rap - you know I am NOT a fan - is actually very good indeed. "Dreamin'" may well cool the brows of those who don't - the eerie synth and 80s flow is brilliant and the rap is more along the lines of Impromp2 or Skalp. A jazzy effort is "Classy Lady" featuring Rob Lee on Rhodes and Bass. This soon kicks off into a funky groove with plenty of tinkling ivories, stoic beats and cool, cool real singing by the multi-talented Charles lane. Add the sax and piano then this adds up to a great, great song. An all-round classy, fresh and jovial set that spans Soul, Funk, Jazz and Hip Hop. An excellent year-ender!
The Vibe Scribe