Sun. Aug. 25, 2019

Incognito – Trouble Don’t Last Always (GRP)

Most Wanted! Incognito & Carleen Anderson – Trouble Don’t Last Always (GRP)

Over 80 records to the credit of Ramsey Lewis and 3 Grammy Awards, no less! Enough to be getting the man in an unlikely to be launched Jazz Hall Of Fame, don’t you think?

Released as a 12″ back in 1994 on Sound Proof Recordings and included in the ‘Stolen moments: Red Hot + Cool’ compilation issued on GRP that same year. Undoubtedly one of the best British Jazz/Funk compositions of all time. ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’ sees Incognito frenetically vibing along with singer Carleen Anderson. The lady reaching the upper heights after a vibrant intro by the likes of Lewis on piano. With, as most likely expected, some incredible horn parts.

Released more than 20 years ago, ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’ is still firing… One would hardly get better than this!

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Overview
Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick and Paul ‘Tubbs’ Williams gave birth to Incognito as an offshot from Light Of The World back in 1979. From then, the group has collaborated with la crème de la crème of an ever boiling British groove scene.

Strangely enough, it took them 10 years to deliver the follow-up to their debut-album – ‘Jazz Funk’ – released back in 1981. But their recognition would be instant with the release of ‘Inside Life’. An album which featured the memorable ‘Always There’, ‘Crazy For You’ and ‘Can You Feel Me’. But also marked the start of a long relationship with Gilles Peterson‘s label. The latter eventually bringing Incognito‘s repertoire to new audiences with the help of remixers such as Masters At Work, Roger S and Carl Craig among others. This resulting in the rework of gems such as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, ‘Givin’ It Up’ and ‘Out Of The Storm’.

How to not remember neither of their brilliant participation to the 1994 ‘Stolen moments: Red Hot + Cool’ album issued on GRP? And more precisely of ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’??? One of the best British Jazz/Funk compositions of all time which saw them jamming along with Carleen Anderson and Ramsey Lewis

Meanwhile, the beginning of the Millenium would mark a turning point for Incognito. The band switching from Talkin’ Loud to Döme Records with the release of their 2002 ‘Who Needs Love’ album. Extra gems following from then. From ‘Morning Sun’, as beautifully edited by Danny Krivit. To ‘Step Aside’ with remixing work courtesy of Dimitri from Paris and DJ Mémé. But also ‘We Got Music’ as remixed by Matt Cooper. This in addition to ‘Freedom To Love’ which eventually got a release on Reel People with Atjazz in charge of the remixing duties. Or their cover version of Ned Doheny‘s ‘To Prove My Love’ to name but a few.

Under his own banner, Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick delivered his debut-album – ‘Leap Of Faith’ – in March 2013. There, he brilliantly made the demonstration of his skills as a singer. Meanwhile as a producer, he has collaborated with artists such as Paul Weller and George Benson. Not to mention Terry Callier and, more recently, Diplomats Of Soul (‘Brighter Tomorrow’ and ‘Sweet Power Your Embrace’). Then Russian singer Olga Makovetskaya.

– Houston, TX native Carleen Anderson had almost no chances to not become an artist. Singing solos in front of the congregation at her grand dad’s Pentecostal church by the age of 3. Playing piano by ear 4 years later. The proximity with her Aunt, Betty Faye Anderson, soprano soloist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, would be for much in her integration of Gospel. Not to mention the ones of her uncle, David Anderson Jr. and his daughters, Pamela and Jhelisa who had had a very successful family Gospel singing group that travelled the Southern US states. And, last but not least, her mom, Vicki Anderson who happened to tour with James Brown. Not to mention her stepfather, Bobby Byrd, who formed a group with the latter in the late 50’s called The Flames.

As many connections who brought her to tour as the opening act for Bobby Byrd & the JB All Stars. This being how she landed in England and met Marco Nelson and Femi Williams, who later formed the Young Disciples. From then, Anderson would collaborate with artists such as Paul Weller, Galliano and Courtney Pine to name a few.
Her relation with The Young Disciples only lasted a few months though. And this despite an obvious complicity. The band releasing only one album – ‘Road To Freedom’ – back in 1991 on Talkin’ Loud. And makin’ quite an impression with ‘Get Yourself Together’ and ‘Apparently Nothin”.

In her will, as a single mother, to provide a secure future for her son, Carleen soon after signed a solo record deal with Circa Records. Teamin’ up with producer Ian Green, she delivered her debut-album – ‘True Spirit’ – back in 1994. An album which got her a nomination as Best International Newcomer Brit Award in 1995. Spanning gems such as ‘Mama Said’ and ‘Nervous Breakdown’.
In 1994 too, she contributed to the ‘Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool’ compilation’. Eventually joining forces with Incognito and Ramsey Lewis on the one of a kind ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’.

Her second album – ‘Blessed Burden’ – marked a change in her artistic direction… Away from the sampling and drum looping production techniques that set up her previous recordings. This getting the Circa execs to release her from her contract soon after. And her to embark on a worldwide tour with the Brand New Heavies from January 1999 to September 2000.

Since then, Anderson has released 4 extra albums. With the latest – ‘Cage Street Memorial ~ The Pilgrimage ‘ – back in November 2016 on Freestyle Records.

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10 essential Jazz Funk classics…
10 essential Talkin’ Loud classics…

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