Izo Fitzroy may look like a languid country singer on the cover (we're not sure why – maybe it's the old American car) – but she comes across with a deeply soulful sound on the album, and a strong raspy edge in her vocals that comes as a mighty nice surprise! The set's definitely going for a late 60s/early 70s funky soul vibe – but Izo's approach is maybe a bit different than some of the younger "funk girls with band" albums out there – nicely lean, with sharp instrumentation that never tries to hard to push any sort of agenda – which leaves the strength of Fitzroy's singing to really bring most of the power to the tunes. Given her voice, we're sure that the lady could sparkle in whatever style she chooses – and titles include "Break The Levee", "Shadowlands", "Reckoning", "Here I Come", "Hope You Can Wait", "Day By Day", "Say Something", "Heads Held High", and "I Keep You Guessing". (Deep Funk, Neo Soul)CD
Fantastic work from Carmen Lundy – one of our favorite jazz singers of all time, and an artist who keeps on giving us her best as the years go on! This album's definitely some of Carmen's best – as it features the singer working with a wonderful group that includes Jeff Parker on guitar, Patrice Rushen on piano, Ben Williams on bass, and Kendrick Scott on drums – a tight core combo who really find a way to push Lundy's energy even more than usual – while Carmen herself handles other keyboards with her vocals, and serves especially righteous material! There's a bit more politics here than on previous records – perfect for the spirit of the moment – but Carmen also mixes a lot of warmth and love into her music as well. Titles include "Black & Blues", "Afterglow", "Whatever It Takes", "I Keep Falling", "The Island The Sea & You", "Have A Little Faith", and "Another Chance". (Vocalists, Neo Soul)CD
A jaw-dropper from Terrace Martin – the kind of record that sneaks on the market under everyone's ears, but will no doubt be one of those sets we'll all go back to again and again over the years! Martin's got a beautifully fresh take on funky jazz – steeped somewhat in the classic inspiration of the 70s era, but with a distinctly 21st Century execution – with crispy edges, cosmic currents, and a chunky approach to rhythm that makes the whole thing come across with a really subtle sort of power! The album's overflowing with guests – including Robert Glasper, Thundercat, Kamasai Washington, Keyon Harrold, and Laylah Hathaway – but there's also a core energy that's all Terrace's own, with lots of snakey keyboards that weave these magical tonal patterns in a wonderful way. Brilliant, and completely captivating – with tracks that include "Push", "Curly Martin", "Never Enough", "Turkey Taco", "Tribe Called West", "Think Of You", "Bromalia", and "Valdez Off Crenshaw" – a nice remake of the Donny Hathaway classic "Valdez In The Country". CD
Miles Mosley —
Uprising ... CD Verve, 2017. New Copy ...
Temporarily Out Of Stock
Blue-eyed funky soul from Miles Mosley – an artist who's working here with the West Coast Get Down group that features Cameron Graves on piano and Kamasai Washington on tenor sax! The vocals are definitely in the lead, though – as Miles draws on classic soul and jazz that really push his vocal range – on material that's nicely open and expressive, maybe more so than other singers of this nature. There's some larger arrangements at times – but most of the energy seems to come from the core combo, of which Miles is definitely in the lead – on tracks that include "LA Won't Bring You Down", "Heartbreaking Efforts Of Others", "Your Only Cover", "More Than This", "Reap A Soul", and "Young Lion". CD
Gregory Porter arrives on Blue Note Records – and the result is Porter's most fully-formed set so far – just the kind of album that will push him firmly into the limelight – a place that we've felt he's deserved for quite a few years! Porter's a hell of a singer, and a hell of a songwriter too – and although his roots are in jazz, he's got a rare ability to step between genres with plenty of soul – a special space that belongs to a very rare few – like Nina Simone, Bill Withers, Roberta Flack, or Gil Scott-Heron! Gregory's voice is amazing, his lyrics are both personal and pointed – and he does so much here with so little, the album should be handed out to the hundreds of mis-directed vocalists who think that a few extra tweaks in the studio is all they really need. Most numbers just feature small combo backing, with wonderfully warm piano from Chip Crawford – and the whole thing's got a timeless feel that makes us think this is the beginning of a rich new season for Porter. Titles include "Free", "Water Under Bridges", "Lonesome Lover", "Liquid Spirit", "No Love Dying", "Brown Grass", "When Love Was King", and "Wind Song". (Vocalists, Neo Soul)CD
Benny Sings —
Studio ... CD Jakarta (Germany), 2015. New Copy ...
Out Of Stock
Maybe the best album so far from Benny Sings – a lean, clean effort that's got a sound that's even more compact than before – but which suits Benny's vocals wonderfully! There's maybe a bit more electricity on the record this time around – and the style's got touches of 80s electro soul, but mixed with a warmer vibe that comes across really well – a mode in which Benny's never trying to push himself too much, but comes across with a sense of soul that's really great – this easygoing vibe that has him sliding along nicely with the gentle beats and keyboards. Titles include "Straight Lines", "My Favourite Game", "The Beach House", "Black & Blue", "Don't Make Me Dance", and "Shoebox Money", which also features Mayer Hawthorne. CD
Partial matches: 1
Drunk ... CD Brainfeeder, 2017. New Copy ...
Fantastic work from one of the most compelling mainstream talents in recent years – an artist who can get wide fame and acclaim, yet keep on pushing the boundaries into fresh new cosmic territory! This album may well be Thundercat's masterpiece – not just a summation of all the ideas and areas he's explored in the past, but also kind of a re-filtering of other modes as well – including the more spiritual and jazz-based territory that he's moved towards, especially when working with others! Yet there's nothing here that's an easy copy of another style, or another's work – as the whole thing bristles with a personal newness that's wonderful – even when Thundercat is getting help from guests who include Kamasai Washington, Flying Lotus, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, and Kendrick Lamarr – as well as some especially nice work from AOR legends Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Titles include "I Am Crazy", "3AM", "Rabbot Ho", "Bus In These Streets", "Lava Lamp", "Jethro", "Show You The Way", "Drink Dat", "Jameel's Space Ride", and "Tokyo". (New Grooves, Neo Soul)CD