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Homegrown urban soul at its finest
Colm O Hare, 04 May 2012
Northern Ireland-based drummer, keyboardist, bassist and songwriter (okay, let’s just call him a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist/percussionist for short!) is a veritable one-man industry, running his own label as well as performing an impressively wide range of styles within the jazz genre. (He recently conducted a drum masterclass at The Music Show and is in constant demand as a studio and live session player).
His debut album Interlude, is a beautifully-produced, neo soul/hip hop /nu-jazz album, that fans of the likes of Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, and the Young Disciples should lap up in droves. Among the many collaborators on the record are MOBO-winning/Mercury-nominated rapper/saxophonist Soweto Kinch and rapper/vocalist Homecut, who features on several tracks, including the title track, and the Stevie Wonder influenced ‘Optimistic’.
Irish vocalist Rhea, meanwhile, lends her gorgeous silky tones to several cuts, including the sizzling funky pair of, ‘Questions’ and ‘I Don’t Mind’; she also joins Homecut on the title track. Derry rapper Wile Man does his thing on the finger-popping ‘Angel’; the bare-boned ‘Seek’ features the fragile vocals of Anne Lyttle; and Soweto Kinch is the highlighted vocalist on the jazzy hip hop of ‘Uncertain Steps’.
The production is rich and dynamic, while the playing throughout is stellar, thanks to a top-notch crew of internationally lauded session players, including guitarist Andreas Varady, Jason Rebello (Sting), Pino Palladino (Adele, The Who), sax player Michael Buckley (Donovan), bass player Keith Duffy (The Corrs, Ronan Keating) and trumpet player Linley Hamilton (Van Morrison). A rare sort of treat to come out of Ireland, Interlude deserves to reach the widest possible audience. Superb.