Club Des Belugas - SWOP (2007)

Club Des Belugas
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I have long been championing the fact that parts of Europe and Scandinavia have been leading the way in the creative development of what I loosely term to be 'groove oriented' music. The fact that we all try to pigeon hole music into different genres leaves our mind closed to the possibilities of what could be if no such barriers existed. Thus it is always refreshing when projects such as CDB offer us an example of what the future holds if we are brave enough to explore these possibilities. This is their fourth album and without doubt it is a musical milestone. where jazz, soul, funk,lounge,big band,bossa and even Fred Astaire meet together in creative unity.

The album opens with the uptempo Big Band influenced killer dance track 'What is Jazz' featuring the spoken and scat vocals of Dean Bowman, whom Madonna cites as having the 'Voice of God.' The brass arrangements for the whole album are in the capable hands of ex Tower of Power side man Greg Adams, who captures the mood and tone perfectly so that everything oozes with modern hipness despite the influences of the past Big Band era.  Fresh from her very soulful outing on the last CDB album Aprico Soul, US vocalist Belinda Boykin returns on a number of tracks. Now permanently living in Germany, she turns her hand to bossa nova scat romp on 'She Said NO,' and drives a rhythmically inspired 'Some like it hot' with perfect pitch. However, it is the London based jazz vocalist Iain Mackenzie who steals the show this time around. Vocally sitting somewhere between Mark Murphy and Michael Buble he features on the album's killer track 'Wearing out my Shoes.' This track will find itself on all sorts of future compilation albums and is sure to appeal to those who know the true meaning of Soul. It is just perfect in all respects.

Such is the high standard of the album that the additional input of Swedish Vocalist Anna-Luca, who herself is working on a new album, and the CDB remix of Mr Fred Astaire's classic 'Putting on the Ritz,' would find themselves headlining. This though is an album of rare quality that only surfaces once in a while. It is impossible to say if it will have a lasting influence on shaping the future in the healthy cross fertilization of musical  genres.  It will however remain a classic.  



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