Incognito is now in their 31st year of making their signature brand of Soul, Jazz, Dance and Fusion. Always incorporating a nod to the soulful past which include sounds of Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock and Tower of Power, yet pushing the boundaries of music to new heights incorporating that signature live concert dancehall vibe.
Led by front man Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick, who has surrounded himself with equally gifted musicians and vocalists, Incognito has just released their brand new album, Transatlantic R.P.M. Inspired by some of his 70’s icons growing up, Bluey transported himself out of his London comfort zone and ventured into American soil to collaborate with a stellar line up including the one and only Chaka Khan, Motown legend Leon Ware, and renowned Italian singer Mario Biondi.
From the start, Transatlantic R.P.M. is in full throttle serving up the classic Boz Skaggs hit, “Low Down”. Remakes can be tricky but the song has always begged to be transported into the next generation and what better way to feature this classic than with two celebrated artists like Italian singer Mario Biondi who conjures up Barry White and the original soul diva, Ms. Chaka Khan! The minute you hear these two work their magic you know there’s no turning back. Khan weaves her signature long lasting notes like no other artist can, which brings chills down the spine.
Bluey penned the original gem, “The Song” specifically for Khan who weaves her sultry and effortless vocals around this melodic mid-tempo track. Bluey and Khan layer vocals upon scatting alongside a landscape of exquisite orchestration. It doesn’t’ get much better than this, it’s pure bliss!
Fans of Incognito will welcome the refreshing addition of the prolific rapping of Luckyiam PSC in the track, “Everything We Are”. The fusion of inspiration on this song transcends any current direction music is headed especially with the lyrics, “…you’ve got police but, first consider peace, next remember music is best when you release…your soul”. The same is true on “Gotta” that features the spoken word brilliance of Ursula Rucker – think early Jill Scott, which serves up that iconic Philly sound.
“1975” is another infectious groove that celebrates the midpoint of a decade that brought us Santana, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, and Marlena Shaw to name a few. With the Incognito horn section in effect and the vocals of Joy Rose this is destined to be one of the top tracks of Transatlantic R.P.M
R&B chanteuse, Maysa delivers her smooth and sweet vocals on “Your Sun My Sky” to one of the most vivid vocal tracks on the album. The same is true to the subsequent track, “Line in the Sand,” sung so beautifully and honestly by Leon Ware.
Along the way we meet up with lead singer Christian Urich of groove based band, Tortured Soul offering a sexy dance track with layers of quick phrasing and vocals including an additional layer of falsetto that makes this a standout track.
The brilliance of the project is that we are transported on every listen to Bluey’s transatlantic journey of musical escapades. Transatlantic R.P.M. is a reflection of passed albums that told a complete story and avoided a one hit wonder. Today we gather our music in a different manner but this album pulls the best of the past and shines a light on a brighter future.