Adventures in Black Sunshine
(Narada, 2004)

The group Incognito is actually by far not new on the jazz front. In the 1970s two men -- Jean-Paul Maunick (a.k.a. Bluey) and Paul "Tubbs" Williams -- formed the disco-funk oriented Light of the World, which was later renamed to Incognito. However, they have kept the beat up since.

Although Incognito could be categorized under acid jazz, there are a number of elements from other styles that cannot be left unmentioned. By listening to the album Adventures in Black Sunshine, one can straightaway pick up some hints to the '70s and '80s -- it is this addictive disco groove that does not let you go. Their music unites club beats and jazz, which is of course by far not anything new but, considering the amount of time Incognito has followed the line of soul-funk-jazz, it is certainly something worth mentioning.

So talking about soul -- what is the most important element? Yeah, it's vocals and Adventures in Black Sunshine is packed with it. Although all this singing and not enough emphasis on the groovy and quite catchy instrumental part does tend to get boring, there is certainly one great factor about this CD -- the tension is up and it does not go down.

On the second half of the album there are two fantastic tunes from the instrumental point of view. First, the funky "Mindin' My Business" with elements of groove, and second, "The World is Mine," which contains nice electronic sounds followed by a catchy rhythm spice with groovy saxophone tones. Actually, it seems the longer the tunes are, the more room there is for instrumental parts and the more interesting the music is.

Incognito is very experienced in its style. However, they keep borrowing elements from various genres -- basically, all people who respect good music can find something on this album as well as on other CDs of theirs. The only danger of such development is turning into mainstream, but then again as there are no absolutely identical individuals in the world, there can be no musicians or groups with the exact same tone and handwriting.

review by
Ester Eggert

12 May 2007

what's new