April 5, 2012

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro | Look Around The Corner

ARTIST:  Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Barbaro
TITLE:  Look Around The Corner
LABEL:  Tru Thoughts
Will (Quantic) Holland, the British producer-musician who moved to Colombia in 2007, brings together his interests in soul and Latin music on this delightful project. His co-star is Alice Russell, probably England’s finest soul singer, whose powerful gospel-inflected voice shines throughout. One of the real pleasures here is how Quantic, Russell and the combo vary the Latin influence from song to song -- tracks 3 (a real deep cut, the debut 1968 single by British folk-rock band The Pentangle) and 5 (the oft-covered 1974 Caston & Majors Motown chestnut) only hint at it; 6 (a swinging, jazzy instrumental son charanga that really shows off Combo Barbaro’s skills) and 9 (NYC shing-a-ling circa 1966) bring it to the fore; and 8 is a soul lyric ingeniously backed by a salsa descarga jam.  The band is just sensational -- it sounds like they can play anything, and play it well -- and the subtle instrumental touches (slightly out-of-tune upright piano evoking a smoky nightclub, swells of strings as in mid-70’s pre-disco R&B or Cuban charanga) will delight the close listener.  A superb album that’s a perfect antidote to the proliferation of derivative retro-soul. 
TOP TRACKS:    3    5    6    8    9
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    4    10    12


Anonymous said...

This was the high point of tonight's show. I nearly ran off the road. SOMEONE has been paying attention to Aretha Franklin and her producers, and the music is really nice. I'm getting this album. Thanks. The show continues to be eggshellent!

Bill Lupoletti said...

Bland, great to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed hearing "Travelling Song" on my best-of-2012 program. You're going to enjoy the rest of the album -- it's fabulous.