Adventures In Black Sunshine
52 (Dome Records/Rice Records)
Monday, 26th July, 2004 (United Kingdom)
NAR 70863 (Narada/Rice Records)
Tuesday, 10th August, 2004 (United States)
PCCY-01706 (Pony Canyon Inc/Rice Records)
Wednesday, 14th July, 2004 (Japan)
Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick
The Blue Room
01. Don't Turn My Love Away
02. Everything Your Heart Desires
03. Close My Eyes
04. The 25th Chapter
05. True To Myself
06. The Principles Of Love
07. This Thing Called Love
08. Fences And Barriers
09. Mindin' My Business
10. Autumn Song
11. Listen To The Music
12. Mr Jones
13. The World Is Mine
14. Beyond The Clouds
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.
The beat goes on! *****
by J. C. Lott
I had just come back from Rio when I heard "everything your heart desires, and the quality and coolness of the vocals by Maysa it must rank as one of the most uplifting songs I have ever heard! The uptempo version of the old "listen to the music" is just knock-out stuff, along with the whole of the album in fact, Bluey just keeps on doin'it over and over again!
I wont appologise as im a massive incognito fan, and if you were dissappointed in the previous albums as some people were critical, This one will bring you back on track.
An explosion of all things Incognito! *****
by M. S Swanson
Yes, this is the one you've been waiting for. Maysa Leak shines on 7 wonderful cuts along with the fabulous Incognito musicians who've graced most of the albums. There are 14 tracks in all-each of them good. The instrumental cuts are especially hot; one even has George Duke jamming away on his Fender Rhodes. Lots of high-energy stuff here with Maysa using her higher register on several cuts-what a knockout! Its all carefully crafted, fully loaded and amazing to hear. Thanks for an awesome CD!