Friday, October 8, 2010

30 Years of Incognito in TRANSLANTIC R.P.M.

I had to look twice to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. The new album cover indicated that Incognito's Bluey Maunick had called upon his friends to celebrate 30 years of making musical magic--among them, two vocal stylists that never fail to give me goosebumps: Chaka Khan and Mario Biondi.

Chaka Khan, of course, is a legend in the jazz and R&B scene; listening to her crazy pipes soar and plummet is a treat like no other. Mario Biondi, on the other hand, caught my attention via a video that recently went viral; in it he joined a cappella group Neri Per Caso to reinterpret WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES with his signature tone--rich, deeply dark, and moist. The thought of these artists lending their voices to the latest project of my favorite acid jazz band was just too much to handle.

TRANSATLANTIC R.P.M.'s opening track does not disappoint. Here Chaka Khan and Mario Biondi reboot the Boz Scaggs classic LOWDOWN (people of my generation, rejoice!) with a healthy serving of soulful funk. Other tracks are equally delightful: 1975, a tribute to the hit makers of that era; THE SONG, a catchy mid-tempo tune co-written by Chaka Khan; YOUR SUN MY SKY with Maysa Leak's indelible vocals; and LET'S FALL IN LOVE AGAIN featuring dance and R&B performer John Christian Urich.

Of course, the also album highlights the talents of mainstays Tony Momrelle and Joy Rose. And as an added treat, the final of 16 tracks has Bluey himself taking on the lead vocals in a curious 5/4 melody titled TELL ME WHAT TO DO.

With the wealth of talent participating in TRANSATLANTIC R.P.M., the album is indeed a celebration worthy of Incognito's 30 years in the industry. And while I wish there were more dance tracks in the project and stronger, more memorable melodies overall, any Incognito fan cannot be without this album. Listen to LOWDOWN here, and know why:


Monique Agatep Ignacio said...


Eric Montelibano said...

Incognito forever!