Water Seed - Wonder Love Pt. 1 (2013)

Water Seed
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Hurricane Katrina took the members of the band Water Seed far away from their New Orleans home. Although the group currently works out of Atlanta, the city of New Orleans never left their hearts or their music. That attachment to the city comes through in their interpretation of the Stevie Wonder classic “Don’t You Worry About a Thing,” which is featured on the band’s latest CD Wonder Love, Part 1.

Why, some might ask, do we need yet another remake of a Stevie Wonder classic? I’ll admit to asking the same question. What can this ensemble do with “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing” that wasn’t already done by dozens of other bands and vocalists? Water Seed answers that question by infusing their arrangement with a percussive shuffle march rhythm that brings Motown to Basin Street.

Hurricane Katrina took the members of the band Water Seed far away from their New Orleans home. Although the group currently works out of Atlanta, the city of New Orleans never left their hearts or their music. That attachment to the city comes through in their interpretation of the Stevie Wonder classic “Don’t You Worry About a Thing,” which is featured on the band’s latest CD Wonder Love, Part 1.

Why, some might ask, do we need yet another remake of a Stevie Wonder classic? I’ll admit to asking the same question. What can this ensemble do with “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing” that wasn’t already done by dozens of other bands and vocalists? Water Seed answers that question by infusing their arrangement with a percussive shuffle march rhythm that brings Motown to Basin Street.

The creativity and musicianship displayed on the Stevie Wonder cover are two qualities that distinguish Wonder Love Pt. 1. The group repackages their 2007 tune “Can We Dance,” transforming the number from a mid-tempo seductive track to a high-energy piece that melds elements of jazz, disco, rock into a performance piece that is practically calling for a show and a choreographer.

“Hues of Blue” is a nu-soul number that describes the powerlessness that accompanies losing your heart to someone in spite of the best intentions to maintain some semblance of control. This percussive piece transforms from sung vocals by a male to a spoken word piece by a female poet.

It’s no surprise that Wonder Love Pt. 1 contains large doses of jazz. “I Really Don’t Care That Your Leaving” and “Adam and Eve” are both instrumental jazz-fusion tunes. The latter is nearly 10 minutes long and features numerous changes in tempo. The band introduces “I Really Don’t Care That Your Leaving” with a rolling bass line that hints at the funk infused jazz that follows. The solo on the vibes might bring back memories of the heyday of Roy Ayers.

I came to Wonder Love Pt. 1 expecting the kind of funky R&B that I heard on Water Seed’s earlier recording – the 2010 release Fresh. But while Wonder Love Pt. 1 defied my expectations, it pleasantly shows the continuing musical development of a very talented group that appears ready reach a greater audience with its unique and expansive brand of music. And I’ll take that exchange any day. Highly Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 

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