Tag Archive: Jimi Bruce reviews


This is the last music review here at this vaired and long-standing blog since 2009. From now on, you are invited to check out my musical musings at my new, long-thought-about and sometimes discussed, via my initial blogging motivator (my amigo and Alum, Grady from Adelphi University), offshoot and narrowly focused effort in the blogosphere which will only present via on one of my strengths: writing reviews that comment and critique music, past, present and future! My main obsticale was creating a name for the new one, oddly-enough, which last week finally came to me and allowed me to move forward with it so I hope that you will want go on over to https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/  for my music musings henceforth.

My first review for that new blog station is for an EP I received from a beautiful soul and LinkedIn connection named Irenka.

Iren

It is against the backdrop of the cowardly and horrific Islamist bombing of the Brussels airport that I pen this review of music by a native daughter of that country which bothers no other and I cannot understand why those scum continue to main innocents instead of fighting a nation’s armed forces face-to-face; sissies!
Well, on to her important music EP, “Wait 4 It”. I must have met Belgium’s hot foxy female vocalist, Irenka, during my twelve years living in Nashville, Tennessee, right? Or Nyet. I would have remembered such a creative presence, energy and figure as hers! The first sound that I hear on track one “Comme Si” is Irenka clearing her throat. I said, “What??” Listened again; however, quickly those sounds turn into her spittin’ like a Euro human beat-box meeting Soft Cell’s 1981 “Tainted Love” – at least in musical key – as she then croons in French, the lingo most speak in Belgium. The last time I listened to this much lyrical love language was on Dimitri From Paris’ 1998 “Sacre` Francaise” or when I reviewed the various artist Playboy Club remix back in 2009. Scare Bleu!
“Dreamland”, track two, is an introspective, somnambulistic ballad where she displays her vocal range for the first time. This and the next selection where she lets her fingers do the singing on track three are perfect for a cloudy day. Irenka is really playing a beautiful classic-style piano solo instrumental! I know because I asked her. Next up and showing an inner versatile similarity to the late Amy Winehouse but with a better voice, or Billy Holiday, she styles on, “I don’t Need No Lover (except to hold me through the night from time-to-time)”. I think that this arrangement reminds me of New Orleans blues-jazz in a street march parade; especially because of the brass accents. At one point I was unsure whether Irenka would hit the climbing high-note – but she did. You will know it when you listen. It is a song that harkens me back to the days of, “Hubba-hubba!”

Finally, she rocks out with the fourth and last track, “A Reason To Hate Me”.
The video, “Comme Si”, takes us on a musical personal journey and is full of familiar scenes from my twelve years living there in Nashville/

Athletic, isn’t she?

Upon learning of the repulsive, pusillanimous Brussels airport attack, act we communicated and her reply, in great musician style was, “Luckily all family is safe, but it is nonetheless terrible, and it is our duty, we the artists, to bring peace and love to this crazy world!”
The world is not as crazy as some of these recent lunatics who inhabit it and I might have been at first on the fence in limbo about Irenka, but now that I have listened copiously and seen her video, there is no “reason to hate” on Irenka with three-and-a-half hopefully motivating musical stars. 3-and-one-half-star-rating

From The Pajama Bar’s vintage vino cellar of classic hit music, I offer this review of a not-so-oldie-but-goodie of the dance floor that I wrote-up in the late 2000s for about.com and my friend, DJ Ron. Major Props to James and DeAnna Cool.

As soon as my editor put this CD in my hot little hands, somehow I knew I had a smash. I couldn’t wait to get to the studio and press “play”. On a recent road trip, I listened as the miles flew by. Sure enough, from the first beat of track one, “Roxy Re-Modeled” [basiclux 9205-2] did not disappoint me. This is a wonderful collection of re-done Roxy tunes that you will love to play over and over.

The personalities that have created this revival are as interesting as the music is. Simply put, I must gush because I love the weave-through journey of this album! “Roxy Re-Modeled” is not just a face-lift, it is careful to maintain the class of the original as a renovation of a classic museum would.

The Roxy concept is the musical brainchild of visionary Bryan Ferry who busted it upon our ears for it to be known as much for the lavish theatrical stage presentation as for the music, and became the stuff of legends thirty years ago. I taste a touch of salsa behind the wisdom on the opening lyric “nothing lasts forever” on track one, “Same Old Scene,” and Cool’s vocals are Lisa Lisa-like. This first came out back in ’80, on the album “Flesh and Blood.”

 

The re-deux of Ferry’s classic “Love Is The Drug,” this time by J.A.C.E. featuring Chris Hays, has the feel of the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancin’.” I also must bigg-upp (la) Grace Jones’s classic 1980 treatment of it. This version maintains the frenzy; the energy that keeps on building and the pounding, driving beat.

I mixed the Manhattans’ old classic “Shining Star” seamlessly into “Angel Eyes” (track 3), which registers as a better-than-the-early nineties-group-Soul II Soul-groove by Perfect Project. It is jazzily hypnotic; a great listen on a hazy Sunday afternoon. Sunday People’s “Avalon” (track four) features the euro-whispery vocals of Hassan Nasser (not the boxer is it?) It is mysterious and the musical interludes aid the international flair of the disc as a whole.

 

Now with “Don’t Stop the Dance” (cut five), BiTeR mc and Elena DeLucca’s tempo keeps it rocking steadily. Now I know what happened to good electronic pop-style music. It is on this album! I would add “More Than This” (track five) from Madison Park in heavy rotation on my fantasy dance music radio station (whose ratings, of course, would, be number one)! ’nuff respect to Lenny B on the remix which has the big Webster Hall ballsy bass house feel. Don’t waste time, cut to the musical chase when you re-compose a piece and give it the opportunity to cross to the CHR/Rhythmic Top 40 formats for those programmers left who are bold enough to go out on a gut-level limb. This one is my personal favorite.

“Kiss and Tell” (track eight) by J.A.C.E featuring Chris Hays on vocals is bold and brawny dance (of the cloth of Theo Vaness’ 1979 “No Romance/Keep on Dancin'”). I just can’t get enough of this kind of sound, and I love when stuff makes me get down on my knees and dig into the crates! “An Angel’s Eyes” (lots of angels guard this effort) by Stormchild is an insty with a familiar funky hard beat and a nice airy, progressive change mid-song. A little “traveling music, please”- that’s what it iz.

 

The next two tracks, “Beauty Queen” from Goldlust featuring Sarah J., and the downtempo “Slave To Love” by Abstract Foundation offer a timely change-of-pace like jerk chicken and a Caribbean rum beverage.

For a nice Adult Contemporary format feel, choose “You Do Something To Me”, another Madison Park tune, this time with The GrooveOholics (track twelve). DeAnna shines once again in her starring role with dreamy vocals that began before she even uttered a word. As her Mom tells it, one day when bathing and singing to the few months old DeAnna, she was surprised when her daughter looked up and matched her pitch, holding the same note! Mother DeAnna was so shocked, she almost fumbled the little darling.

Track thirteen, “Ten Cents A Dance,” by Wilson is Yar Wilson’s upbeat and positive curtain call with the same feel of “Kiss and Tell.” Personally, there is so much compelling stuff yet to tell about this, dear reader. In any event, this compilation makes you feel a strobe light rainbow of danceable sound.

Five stars – hands-down!

I penned this for www.about.com/dancemusic back in 2007 and it is now here on my blog…at “home” where it should be. “Hi, Chaka!!”

Long before people began anointing every singer with a big voice a “diva”, I noticed the slightly different lead singer of a band called Rufus back during my college radio days. Guys all over campus, including yours truly, fell in “love” with everything about this new star. From her big hair to her kind of cute, quirky-jerky dance movements between lyrics on stage (hear “Better Days” and “Ain’t Nobody”), we were all smitten. If you’ve ever seen her perform, then your mind will imagine her moves to the groove as this CD opens up with “Back In The Day”, a chronicle of her early Chi-town upbringing.

Yet, as I look back to the days of “Tell Me Something Good” (remember the heavy breathing?), it is probably precisely at this point that none of us could have even gotten close to that “Angel” who might have been “inconsistent, flying blind most of the time”, as portrayed on track four of this, her latest album/CD. Oh yes, she gets it real without wasting time, like saying “Funk This” [Burgundy Records 88697 09022 2], so let me tell you my story! This album has the mark of how reconciled with life’s trials Chaka is; knowing it is the right time for this long promised propitiate to her fans. It also occurs to me that the first song is an ode to her recognizing that singing became her salvation.
Next you’ll see what she’s up to here, mixing new songs and covering timeless hits when she re-classics the Dee Dee Warwick smash “Foolish Fool”.

This is not a greatest hits compact disc, but her sound flavored with the seasoned sensations of her career and life. Having been in the orchestra seats to witness many of her performances, I ask myself, “Where has the time gone?” Well, the Chaka Khan of Rufus fame is back on this one, and appropriate props are due to the sensitivities of the Jam and Lewis production duo too! She pays homage to one of my inspirations, Jimi Hendrix on “Castles Made Of Sand” (I couldn’t believe it was the same song when first I read the title on the back cover), your mind will play the trick of having you think the Experienced one came back just to play for this track. Here she talks about the album!

“Disrespectful” features Mary J. Blige, and the lively, funky beat reminds me of the 2005 jam by Amerie, “1 Thing”; I’d love to see them perform it “live”; Hell, I want to see her do all of this live, and just in – this is the track spawning smokingly funky remixed versions, for all us club DJs!

Right after we beautifully relive the magic of the “Pack’d My Bags”/ “You Got The Love” medley where it is happily noticeable to me that she has reunited with her former Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden, it becomes really time to soulfully groove as Chaka pays homage to her good friend Joni Mitchell on “Ladies Man”.
I love the background singers on that one, and speaking of accompaniments, imagine the trademark Carly Simon smile towards Michael McDonald’s duet with Chaka to her “You Belong To Me” here as well.

“Super Life” has my vote for the best single. Chaka’s material is so relatable here in the future that is now.

That this is vintage Chaka is to evoke one of those clichés that I despise, so I will say that this is refreshing funk and so necessary against the backdrop of today’s so often lame and laboriously slow “neo” R & B, and it is pure Chaka Khan, wide-ranging vocals from the gritty to the signature shouting extended vamp notes.
I believe that you will want to listen repeatedly in various situations and moods to this familiar musical friend.

Once anointed, and often referred to on the air as “lips and hips” by my friend, the late WBLS New York City programmer (and on of my reluctant radio mentors) Frankie Crocker, I feel that she is and always has been much, much more complicated that that – but we all had fun playing to that fantasy once upon a time. If there is a category for it, this album would win the comeback Grammy of the year. After meeting her backstage at the Blue Note in New York City back in 1992, and briefly hanging out with her (my date made an exit, stage right, so I could hang – a night I’ll never forget), I always knew she would bless us with more excellent music. So in a way, my original dream from college days has almost come true. As I wrote this, Ms. Khan was to make her Broadway debut in early 2008 as the character played by Oprah in “The Color Purple”, Sofia opposite BeBe Winans.? What ever happened wit dat? lol

Check out her myspace page for some contest details. No point deduction for a well thought-out and timed return equals five tasty Chakalatte stars in my guest book.

Here is one of my favorite Chaka and Rufus from the past, their version of Bobby Womack’s “You’re Welcome, Stop On By” in video!

Your comments about Chaka Khan, Please? “Pajulsta”? Пожалуйста?