Jun 8, 2018

RhoDeo 1822 Grooves


Today's artists are arguably the most multi-cultural band in Britain (current and past members hailing from a remarkable list of 32 different countries!), they was initially formed back in 1979 by Mauritius-born Jean-Paul Maunick, known to all since childhood as a Bluey . The son of Edouard Maunick - a distinguished African poet and writer - Bluey first moved to London in 1969 at the age of nine. By the mid-Seventies, his fascination with watching US bands like Earth, Wind & Fire, Weather Report and Kool & The Gang soon led to him hanging around with key players in the UKâ  s then-emerging jazz/funk scene - including groups like Gonzales, Hi-Tension and Average White Band - before going on to form his own aforementioned combo. With their debut album Jazz Funk (released through British independent Ensign Records in 1981) immediately establishing them at the forefront of London's then-thriving black music underground, the band however did not reach their commercial peak until signing with Phonogram's hip Talkin Loud label in 1990. ..... 'N Joy

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An acid jazz project with surprisingly deep roots in the 1970s jazz/funk/fusion world, Incognito were originally formed by Jean-Paul Maunick (aka Bluey) and Paul "Tubbs" Williams. Both were leaders of the late-'70s disco-funk group Light of the World, who scored several moderate British hits, including a cover of "I Shot the Sheriff." Just after the release of Light of the World's third LP (Check Us Out), Maunick and Williams shifted the lineup slightly and renamed the conglomeration Incognito. A decade separated their first and second albums, but from the early '90s through the early 2010s, the group recorded at a steady rate and stuck to their colorful hybrid sound.

Incognito debuted with the single "Parisienne Girl" and released the 1981 LP Jazz Funk, but were inactive during the rest of the 1980s. Maunick continued to write material for his group, even while working with Maxi Priest and others. (Williams later moved to Finland.) By the beginning of the 1990s, DJ legend and early Incognito fan Gilles Peterson had founded the Talkin' Loud label and he made Incognito one of his first signings. Their 1991 update of Ronnie Laws' "Always There," featuring lead vocals by Jocelyn Brown, became a Top Ten hit as part of Britain's booming acid jazz scene, prompting the release of Incognito's second album overall, Inside Life. It was largely a studio affair, with Maunick and engineer Simon Cotsworth directing a large cast with many of the best musicians in Britain's fertile groove community.

With 1992's Tribes Vibes + Scribes, Maunick added vocalist Maysa Leak to the lineup. A cover of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" became another Incognito hit, and the album ascended Britain's pop charts even as it rose on America's contemporary jazz charts. The third album, Positivity, became the group's biggest album success, with much attention across Europe as well as Britain.

In 1994, Incognito appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool. The album, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of the AIDS epidemic in relation to the African American community, was heralded as "Album of the Year" by Time magazine. In 1996, the band contributed "Water to Drink" to the AIDS-benefit album Red Hot + Rio, also produced by the Red Hot Organization. Their song "Need to Know" is the theme song for progressive radio and television news program Democracy Now!.

Late 1994 Leak unsuccessfully attempted a solo career with Blue Note, leading to temporary vocal replacement Pamela Anderson (not the Baywatch pinup) on 1995's 100° and Rising. Leak returned, though, appearing on the following year's Beneath the Surface. During the latter half of the decade, Incognito expanded their discography with 1996's Remixed, 1998's Tokyo Live, and 1999's No Time Like the Future.

The group's first two albums of the 2000s, Life Stranger Than Fiction (2001) and Who Needs Love (2002), were made without Leak. The latter, the first of several releases for the Dome label, featured Brazilian vocalist Ed Motta. Leak returned for Adventures in Black Sunshine (2004), a set that also boasted a guest appearance from longtime Incognito inspiration George Duke. Bees + Flowers + Things (2006) was a mix of cover versions along with re-recordings of four Incognito classics. More Tales Remixed (2008) involved remixes from Dimitri from Paris and Mark de Clive-Lowe, among others.

Incognito began the 2010s by acknowledging a major group milestone, most notably with the two-CD Live in London: The 30th Anniversary Concert, as well as their 14th studio set, Transatlantic R.P.M., featuring performances from Chaka Khan, Mario Biondi, Leon Ware, Ursula Rucker, and Leak. Surreal (2012) was followed by Bluey's first proper solo album, Leap of Faith (2013), while Amplified Soul (2014) -- one of the group's several releases to exceed an hour in length -- showed that their productivity was hardly on the wane. 2016 saw the band release its 17th studio long-player, In Search of Better Days, which featured guest artists pianist Avery Sunshine, drummer Richard Spaven, percussionist Jody Linscott, and Japanese guitar legend Tomoyasu Hotei.

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The cool and bouncy retro-soul vibe of the veteran British acid jazz ensemble Incognito isn't really retro at all -- it's just that they've been doing it since the early '80s, when that sound was still a new thing. Despite its vast array of personnel changes over the course of eight previous albums, the band has stayed true to the original vision of frontman/guitarist Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, and that means, even post-millennium, a liberal mix of jazz, house, groovalicious funk, worldbeat, colorful female vocals, and most of the times, snazzy horn sections. The band's Narada Jazz debut, Who Needs Love also includes spicy touches of soaring Brazilian energy (think whimsical, Sergio Mendes circa mid-'60s), with guest vocalist Ed Motta singing both words and scat over punchy horns, and a thumping disco beat. Gentle samba grooves infuse "Stone Cold Heart" and the feisty, Braz-funk gem "Cada Dia (Day by Day)" as well. Most of the other material is a bit less exotic, from the moody romantic R&B-flavored lament "Can't Get You Out of My Head" to the thumping, wah-wah- and horn-inflected anthem "People at the Top," which has "Welcome to the '70s" written all over its infectious grooves. The trippiest track of the bunch is "Byrd Plays," which blends an odd nature soundscaping ambience, a distant horn, and subtle African percussion with hypnotic low register piano chords. Maunick is always seeking new collaborators mixed with former cohorts, and here he has British troubadour Paul Weller and vocalists Kelli Sae, Joy Rose, and former group member Joy Malcolm.

Incognito - Who Needs Love     (flac 425mb)

01 Who Needs Love 5:16
02 Can't Get You Out Of My Head 4:33
03 People At The Top 4:44
04 Morning Sun 4:34
05 Stone Cold Heart 6:05
06 Cada Dia (Day By Day) 4:48
07 If You Want My Love 4:04
08 Don't Be A Fool 4:54
09 Byrd Plays 5:33
10 Where Love Shines 6:51
11 Did We Really Ever Try 6:17
12 Blue (I'm Still Here With You) 5:56
13 Fly 4:24

Incognito - Who Needs Love   (ogg  155mb)

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It's funny how every time another phenomenally funky, brass-fired groove party comes out in the shape of another solid Incognito date, the label touts it as "retro." This time, Narada Jazz's press materials focus on all of group mastermind Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick's influences in order to remind listeners that he's a child of the '70s. But the basic soul vibe of that decade has been the defining element of Incognito's sound since their first disc in the early '80s. The big story on 2003's Who Needs Love was the inclusion of a Brazilian vibe via Ed Motta, and here it's the return after several albums of the honey soul-voiced Maysa Leak, who was a big part of the group's rise to acid jazz prominence in the early '90s. Depending on the intensity of the groove, Leak's cool vibes add breeze or urgency over the course of her seven tracks -- from the laid-back seduction of "Don't Turn My Love Away" to the more danceable and emotionally charged "Everything Your Heart Desires" and the moody, socially conscious "This Thing Called Love." Listening to the irrepressible instrumentals, which keep the groove moving under increasingly snazzy horn fire, it's clear the kind of impact Incognito has had on newer Brit outfits like Down to the Bone. "The 25th Chapter" rolls on and on like a disco on fire (with jazzy flute pepper trying to put it out), while no less than George Duke (another '70s-minded jazz-funk genius) spices up the spacy soul jam "Mindin' My Business" with some out-there Rhodes improvisations. Even with some 1,000 musicians passing through Incognito's ever-revolving doors and ever-evolving sound, Maunick's admiration for the soul music that first inspired him comes through brilliantly every time out.

Incognito - Adventures In Black Sunshine    (flac 473mb)

01 Don't Turn My Love Away 4:54
02 Everything Your Heart Desires 4:15
03 Close My Eyes 3:29
04 The 25th Chapter 6:13
05 True To Myself 5:03
06 The Principles Of Love 7:38
07 This Thing Called Love 3:13
08 Fences And Barriers 4:09
09 Mindin' My Business 8:13
10 Autumn Song 5:42
11 Listen To The Music 4:49
12 Mr Jones 4:32
13 The World Is Mine 7:35
14 Beyond The Clouds 4:45

Incognito - Adventures In Black Sunshine  (ogg  168mb )

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The U.K.-based supergroup Incognito released their 11th career recording and it's a sleek, pop/jazz offering that will have you swinging and swaying to their groovy guitars, big horns, and soulful vocals. This is the first time the group has recorded with its touring band and it's a whole new groove. This sophisticated take on acid jazz features such great songs as "Baby It's Alright," "Show Me Love," and "As Long as It's You." The soulful vocals of Maysa Leak and Imaani bring a great dimension to Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick's company and it's definitely a keeper.

 Incognito - Eleven    (flac  370mb)

01 Let the Mystery Be 6:50
02 We Got Music 5:24
03 Come Away with Me 7:04
04 Baby It's Alright 4:36
05 When Tomorrow Brings You Down 3:41
06 Jacaranda 6:20
07 Show Me Love 5:38
08 Will I Ever Learn? 4:40
09 I'll Get By 5:09
10 It's Just One of Those Things 4:58
11 As Long as It's You 4:21

Incognito - Eleven  (ogg  131mb)

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The U.K. soul collective Incognito's acid jazzy roots predate the format that became smooth jazz by a few years, so it's not exactly appropriate to call Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick and company's retro pop-soul-jazz vibe "smooth jazz." Nonetheless, on this typically dreamy, cool vibin' and supersensual release, they picked up on the ubiquitous genre trend of 2006 -- doing lots of cover versions. At least they take a unique approach to them, as the seductive, guy-girl trade-off vocals and sweet, horn-spiced ornamentation on "Summer in the City" comes after a whole minute of moody, mysterious film score type music. Their take on America's "Tin Man" and Earth, Wind & Fire's "That's the Way of the World" (which reaches dreamily towards nine minutes) are pretty by the book but more soulful (naturally) than the original and ultimately pretty irresistible. And at least they also dare to cover less obvious tunes like Roy Ayers' "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," which gets things off to a mellow but optimistic note. Incognito also dares to try a unique approach to the whole cover phenomenon, doing sparsely arranged takes on four of their own classics -- "Always There," "Still a Friend of Mine," "Everyday" and "Deep Waters." This stripped down approach allows his vocalists, which include Carleen Anderson, Jocelyn Brown, Maysa, Joy Rose, Imani and Tony Momrelle the center stage they so richly deserve. With this ensemble, the deep soul vibe is everything, so whether they're doing old pop songs, remakes of their own tunes, or originals, we're still dancing in the laid-back late summer sunshine.

 Incognito - Bees + Things + Flowers    (flac  318mb)

01 Everybody Loves The Sunshine 4:17
02 Everyday 4:05
03 Summer In The City 4:46
04 Always There 2:30
05 Raise 3:18
06 Still A Friend Of Mine 5:39
07 Tin Man 3:29
08 Crave 5:32
09 Deep Waters 4:58
10 You Are Golden 3:52
11 That's The Way Of The World 9:00

Incognito - Bees + Things + Flowers  (ogg  110mb)

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