Incognito - Who Needs Love



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Number of Discs
Release Date
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Dome (Studio)

The cool and bouncy retro-soul vibe of the veteran British acid jazz ensemble Incognito isn't really retro at all -- it's just that they've been doing it since the early '80s, when that sound was still a new thing. Despite its vast array of personnel changes over the course of eight previous albums, the band has stayed true to the original vision of frontman/guitarist Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, and that means, even post-millennium, a liberal mix of jazz, house, groovalicious funk, worldbeat, colorful female vocals, and most of the times, snazzy horn sections. The band's Narada Jazz debut, Who Needs Love also includes spicy touches of soaring Brazilian energy (think whimsical, Sergio Mendes circa mid-'60s), with guest vocalist Ed Motta singing both words and scat over punchy horns, and a thumping disco beat. Gentle samba grooves infuse "Stone Cold Heart" and the feisty, Braz-funk gem "Cada Dia (Day by Day)" as well. Most of the other material is a bit less exotic, from the moody romantic R&B-flavored lament "Can't Get You Out of My Head" to the thumping, wah-wah- and horn-inflected anthem "People at the Top," which has "Welcome to the '70s" written all over its infectious grooves. The trippiest track of the bunch is "Byrd Plays," which blends an odd nature soundscaping ambience, a distant horn, and subtle African percussion with hypnotic low register piano chords. Maunick is always seeking new collaborators mixed with former cohorts, and here he has British troubadour Paul Weller and vocalists Kelli Sae, Joy Rose, and former group member Joy Malcolm. ~ Jonathan Widran

Who Needs Love
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
Who Needs Love | Incognito