INCOGNITO / “Incognito 30th Anniversary Mixtape”
This is a mixtape I hinted at when we did the Incognito feature back in July 2009—go here to read that write-up. I noted that Incognito was approaching their 30th anniversary and were planning a major blow-out, a gathering of the clan from over the years. Well, Incognito founder and leader Jean Paul “Bluey” Maunick kept his word.
The 30th Anniversary Concert was held in London in 2009 and it was more than just another concert. Live strings make a considerable addition to the overall sound, but there is more. Not only did Bluey bring in the major vocalists from over the years, and not only did he have the concert recorded, and not only did they also shoot a DVD, they also did a gorgeous Blu-Ray disc with two different audio mixes (one for the video and one for the audio CD included in the Blue-Ray package).
If you’re into Incognito you really, really need to get the 30th Anniversary 2-disc set. If you’re new to Incognito this is an excellent place to start.
I happen to prefer the studio versions of most of these songs to these live recordings. That preference is not meant as a slight against the live recordings, rather the studio versions take the edge in production quality.
For my tastes middle-period Incognito is some of the best pop music of the last thirty years. From 100-degrees And Rising (1995) on through Adventures in Black Sunshine (2004) is what I consider the sweet spot when the synergy of compositions, vocals, instrumentation, and production was at its height.
Consider Incognito's consistency over a long, thirty-year period: great song writing, strong arrangements, excellent vocals, and inspired studio production. When you think about it, Incognito has no peers as a music ensemble.
In some ways Incognito is an extension of the Earth, Wind & Fire formula, especially those jazz-influenced horns. But beyond instrumentation you have to go to Stevie Wonder to find such a long and strong body of songs. I do not mean to imply that Bluey is the match of Stevie as a composer, but I do ask the question, in pop music who else but Bluey comes in second?
Trivia note: There was a ten year gap between their first release, Jazz Funk (1981) and their second release, Inside Life (1991).
It’s amazing to keep a large ensemble together over a thirty year period, but even more amazing is to keep producing quality music through all the stylistic changes that occurred between 1981 and 2011.
When I decided to put this Mixtape together I wanted a hook that would make it unique even for Incognito fans. Of course Live In London: The 30th Anniversary Concert CD/DVD/Blu-Ray recording could admirably fulfill the bill for those who don’t have it, however I wanted a bit more. So what I did was dug into some of my bootlegs and included five tracks not commercially available.
The first four tracks are from a 2005 performance identified only as In Concert Ohne Filter. The fifth track is a 2006 appearance in Tokyo, Japan, which by the way is not the same concert as the Last Night In Tokyo album that was recorded in 1997. Everything else on the Mixtape is from Live In London.
The only other thing to say is: ENJOY.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
01 “Always There”
04 “One Hundred And Rising”
05 “Labour of Love” – Live In Japan 2006
Incognito Live In London: The 30th Anniversary Concert
06 “Centre Of The Sun”
07 “Get Into My Groove”
08 “Always There”
09 “Still A Friend Of Mine”
10 “Can't Get You Out Of My Head”
11 “Deep Waters”
12 “Wild And Beautiful”
13 “I Hear Your Name”
14 “Nights Over Egypt”
This entry was posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 7:01 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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