Lovely work by Fernanda Porta – a talented new singer and arranger, with a sound that's a bridge between Rio and London! Fernanda's like some of her labelmates on the Trama imprint – a vocalist with a sound that's steeped in the bossa traditions of Brazil, yet which also reaches out with some of the more soulful styles of recent work from the European underground. Fernanda wrote and arranged this entire set herself – and the tracks dance along in a skittish style that has a lot of elements of the current London broken beat scene, yet which also retains all the warmth and soul of the best recent Brazilian pop. The album's a real delight throughout – very fresh, with lots of nice twists and turns – and titles include "Amor Errado", "Eletricidade", "1999", "Outro Lugar Do Mundo", "Sambassim", "Tudo De Bom", and "So Tinha De Ser Com Voce". (Brazil, Neo Soul)CD
A monumental piece of funk – and a record that came into the world at a time when it seemed like just about everyone had forgotten how to play real funky music! This set's the US version of the first album by London scenesters The Brand New Heavies – and although it came out in the states 2 years after the UK set, it's essentially the same record – just featuring new vocals by singer N'Dea Davenport in place of the original vocalist Jay Ella Ruth. Davenport's vocals transported the group from indie acid jazz obscurity into the US soul charts in a way that nobody ever expected – and the resulting album is a stone classic that's filled with excellent cuts like "Ride In The Sky", "Never Stop", "Dream Come True", and "Stay This Way". Great stuff all around – and one of the few classic soul albums of its generation! CD
The debut album from Floetry – a sweet batch of NuSoul tunes with a street harmony feel! The pair are London-bred, spent time in Atlanta's hotly bubbling scene, and are now part of the massive Philly underground that's been rocking the world over the past few years. This debut more than puts Floetry in the frontline of that scene, and is the kind of fresh new soul album you'll gladly place next to work by Jill Scott, N'Dambi, and other NuSoul divas. Titles include "Fun", "Floetic", "Big Ben", "Say Yes", "Hello", "If I Was A Bird", "Opera", "Mr Messed Up", and "Possibilities". CD
Maysa (Maysa Leak) —
Maysa ... CD Blue Thumb, 1995. Used ...
Just Sold Out!
The soulful vocalist of Incognito strikes out on her own – serving up an excellent debut LP! This one's got a bit more of a modern R&B approach than the jazzier work of Incognito – but still stays in the hip London soul mode, thanks to some great production work by Ray Hayden of Opaz! Maysa's voice is incredible – running up to the heavens, and dipping deep in that wonderful way she has, to make the songs bottom out with a heck of a lot of feeling. Titles include "Peace Of Mind", "Goodbye Manhattan", "JFS", "Let It Go", "Sexy", "Black Heaven", and "What About Our Love?". CD