Good music has a way of floating into your life if you’re lucky enough to have both your ears and your mind open to all possibilities. Recently, due to someone else’s inability to review a few albums, I found myself volunteering to pick up their slack and review them myself. I’m glad I did, otherwise I might never have gotten the chance to listen to Bees+Things+Flowers by Incognito, and thus I’d have missed out on a beautiful album.
Soft, soulful, and more than a little funky, Bees+Things+Flowers glides across your consciousness in graceful and languid swirls of musicianship rooted deeply in jazz music. Of course, that’s not that much of a surprise, once you discover (as did I, through a little research) that Incognito is a British band widely regarded as one of the key members of the acid jazz movement.
Throughout the band’s history, it has been led and driven by the talents and aesthetics or Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick. Other notable band members have included Tony Momrelle, Jocelyn Brown, Carleen Anderson, Imaani, and Maysa Leak.
The current list of band members is as follows: Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Carleen Anderson (Vocals), Richard Bailey (Drums), Jocelyn Brown (Vocals), Matt Cooper (Keyboards), Dominic Glover (Trumpet), Imaani (Vocals), Francis Hylton (Bass), Maysa Leak (Vocals), Tony Momrelle (Vocals), Tony Remy (Guitar), Joy Rose (Backing Vocals), Andy Ross (Saxophone), and Nichol Thomson (Trombone).
When you add up all those wonderful talents and voices, you arrive at an album that does nothing less than soothe your spirit and ears, as it seems to effortlessly glide forth from your stereo. Close your eyes and imagine what the perfect combination of soft soul music combined with smoky jazz sensibilities, and you’ve arrived at the music of Incognito.
Personal favorites on the album would be the luxurious cover of “Summer In The City,” the plaintive vocals of “Crave,” and the seductive swirl of the horns on “You Are Golden.”
Whether you love soul music, jazz, or simply good music, I heartily offer up Incognito’s Bees+Things+Flowers to you. While you’re purchasing it, however, I’ll be hunting for albums from their back catalogue, as I find myself wanting to hear more of a good thing.