When you mix funk, soul, disco, jazz, positivity and emotional honesty, what comes out is Incognito. This is an “acid jazz” outfit started by Mauritius-born British guitarist Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick 37 years ago. Their mission appeared to give the heart-on-sleeve soul of Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and other members of that distinguished class a jazzy twist, incorporating live instruments, passionately played. They and another UK band, Jamiroquai, seem to share the same brief but their sound has a bit less of the radio appeal Jay Kay and Co.’s has. From the moment I discovered them from a Sunday evening jazz show I’ve voraciously devoured their discography from 1992’s ‘Tribes, Vibes and Scribes’ all the way to 2014’s ‘Amplified Soul’. You can therefore understand my joy when the band dropped their 17th studio album last week.
‘In Search of Better Days‘ faithfully follows along the pattern of previous Incognito projects, including multiple features from jazz vocalist Maysa. ‘Love Born in Flames’ is the album opener and sets the tone with a funky, chilled out ambiance. Garnishing the sleek guitarwork and gorgeous horns with her silky alto is the beautiful Imaani who has appeared on several Incognito records as well as toured with the band extensively. The celebratory mood of the song is captured in the simple yet meticulously executed video. As Bluey and his group play on their instruments and Imaani sings, revelers put on their best moves on the modest dancefloor.
Miami Based, Internationally Known