Incognito

*“I put the funk,” said Bluey, founder and leader of the UK group Incognito that gave us Maysa and other industry singing sensations.

The funk that Bluey talks about is found in his newest Incognito CD project titled “Transatlantic R.P.M.” recorded in celebration of 31 years in the business for the popular assembly of musicians and singers.  Bluey is highlighting new talents such as Vanessa Haynes, Tony Momrelle and Mario Biondi. “Transatlantic R.P.M.” also includes some familiar voices such as Chaka Khan and Maysa.

“Mario is an Italian singer that knows no English,” Bluey said in his thick UK accent. “He’s #1 in Italy and #1 in Germany. Quite amazing…the Barry White of Italy.”

Mario Biondi is featured on one of my favorite songs on the album titled, “Can’t Get Enough,” which has Bluey on piano. To me Mario sounds like an Isaac Hayes/Teddy Pendergrass mixture and for him to not know any English, I see why he is #1 overseas – what a great artist!

Throughout the CD Bluey is the main ingredient with his “funky” guitar, keyboard, vocals and programming mixture that has become the sound of Incognito.

Another new vocalist on this “Transatlantic R.P.M.” CD is Vanessa Haynes she is featured on another of my favorites “Life Ain’t Nothing But a Good Thing,” a traditional Incognito vibe. The project also offers spoken word and a hint of Jazz. “Low Down” featuring Chaka Khan is another one I tend to play over and over again, along with “Express Madureira” featuring Bluey on guitar, Sid Gauld on trumpet, Matt Cooper on piano – so hot – and Simon Willescroft on sax. Vocalist Tony Momrelle on “Make Room” made me takes notice of him with Bluey excellent keyboard skills as support.

“Tony been in the band for a few years,” Bluey said about the talented singer. “Immediately we go on tour and I get a call from a friend, Sade’, said she was looking for a (background) vocalist. I said to myself, ‘I’m a shoot myself in the foot,’ but I said, ‘I got someone.’ He went on to tour with Sade’. She allowed him to come record for me.”

As always the London native has recorded a stellar CD. Others featured on the “Transatlantic R.P.M.” project include Incognito veteran Maysa, Ursula Rucker, Luckyiam and Motown’s Leon Ware.

For more information on Incognito and the “Transatlantic R.P.M.” CD log onto www.Incognito.org.uk.

Viver Brasil’s ‘Alaafia/Harmony’ Gave an Emotional Performance at the Ford Amphitheatre

Alaafia/Harmony

*Viver Brasil invited me to review their 8th season at the Los Angeles Ford Amphitheatre of their production “Alaafia/Harmony” – the culture, music, dance and history of Afro-Brazilians, with the story of Yoruba (a concept of peace and total well-being). The dancers and music was so emotional and clearly communicated that Afro-Brazilian culture that, to me, is reminiscent of traditional African dance combined with contemporary modern dance.

The performance included six acclaimed Bahian dancers courtesy of The Brazilian Ministry of External Relations and the Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles, along with dancers Vera Passos and Nildinha Fonseca. Jose Ricardo Sousa was composer and Vania Amaral was on vocals.

Aside from the excellent dramatic Afro-Brazilian dancing and the interesting story of Yoruba, I was most impressed with the colors, the costuming and the awe inspiring dancing.

What a perfect presentation of Afro-Brazilian culture. Bravo to Viver Brasil for another production that is sure to be yet another award winner.

For more information on the Viver Brasil presentation “Alaafia/Harmony” log onto www.ViverBasil.com.

Lucinda Moore releases new CD project, ‘Blessed, Broken and Given,’ on Tyscot Records

Lucinda Moore

 

*Tyscot Records releases a new recording project for Gospel vocalist Lucinda Moore titled “Blessed, Broken and Given.” Moore gives a passionate and inspiring performance on the CD.

“The concept came first,” Lucinda said about the CD. “I was going to battle abuse…for the Abuse Shelters…causes I’ve gone through. That was my objective in doing this project.”

Moore said Jo Jo (one of the executive producers on the CD) brought to her the title track and she knew that that was the song. Lucinda confessed that she started out singing and, “now I’m preaching.” Preach she does on this “Blessed, Broken and Given” album with her inspirational songs that uplift, inspire and education.

“It was recorded live at Elizabeth Baptist Church with their choir in Atlanta,” Lucinda informed me. She closed the interview by saying how God is first in everything she does, “Fold to His calling” she said to me, “…be obedient to God…He will open up the doors (and windows).”

Some of my favorite songs on the “Blessed, Broken and Given” album include “Days of Elijah” – what a marching song, the passionate “I Need Thee” and the inspirational “Speak Lord.”

For more information on Lucinda Moore or her latest project “Blessed, Broken and Given” log onto www.LucindaMoore.com.