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We come, Incognito

By - | December 7th 2012

The third Sierra Jazz Festival is bringing back the Jazz to Nairobi this December with British jazz band Incognito set to perform. The band’s BLUEY gives Pulse a review of the band’s latest release ahead of next weekend’s concert.

On project Surreal...

Say the word ‘surreal’ and various images come to mind; dreamlike, unreal, fantastic, odd, bizarre or even weird.

For me, the experiences leading to the final outcome of Incognito’s 15th studio album have been an amalgamation of all these synonyms and expressions.

For each one of us taking part in the making of Surreal, this was our chance to make bold statements, hone our skills, dig deep into our creative souls and produce a body of work that we would all be extremely proud of.

On completion of the album..

In February this year, the album was completed and it was an incredible sensation to ride with the band with the tracks blasting out of the car stereo system. 

Unlike the last album, apart from the welcome appearance of my awesome musical muse Maysa and a few special guest musicians, this was a real band effort with most of the material performed by the current touring band.

My focus from day one was song writing; from 50 songs down to 30, then to 25 solid recordings and finally to the chosen 14 that make Surreal.

On Hylton and Maysa...

From the thunderous opening of the very funky bass driven The Less You Know co-produced and co-written by our bass player Francis Hylton, Maysa delivers like only she can, with a sweetness that is not only contrasting to the heavy rhythm but with a tonal delivery that combines to create something totally fresh and unique.

Maysa also features on Capricorn Sun, a song which I had written on my guitar after reflecting on a friend’s on-going battles with his Capricorn partner. The song is given greater expression by Maysa’s outstanding voice.

About Mo Brandis...

From the moment I played Goodbye To Yesterday, to my band, my manager, my family and our various international record companies, I got the same response...

“That’s the first single,” they all chimed!

Co-written and co-produced by the band’s new wonder kid, Mo Brandis, this song has had an amazing effect on everybody involved in the Incognito machinery.

About Mo and Don’t Wanna Know...

If there is a young vocalist that can deliver on both sides as a modern R&B vocalist and a soulful old school crooner, it is Mo, who features heavily in Don’t Wanna Know.

About Natalie and Above The Night

Above The Night was the first of three songs featuring Natalie Williams and it still blows me away every time I hear it. I first became aware of Natalie when we played with Ronnie Scott’s and she was the lead vocalist of the house band. With the help of our intrepid musical director Matt Cooper who was also part of this writing partnership, we began a pressure group that she finally relented to. 

About Venessa...

If there was ever one person that you need in your corner to deliver massive vocal performances throughout heavy touring schedules and time constricted studio sessions, it is Vanessa Haynes. Ain’t it Time, Don’t Break Me Down and To Be With You are three fine examples of her incredible power and subtlety.

Richard Bull...

The album’s penultimate track The Way You Love is collaboration with my dear friend and Incognito contributor Richard Bull. As can be expected, his drum grooves and his bass lines dominate the proceedings creating a muscular platform for the unison vocals to dance on.

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