A stunning side project First Protocol from Incognito leader Bluey and guitarist Tony Remy, continuing the Incognito tradition of seamlessly blending jazz and house.
In 2013, Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick stepped out with his first solo album, Leap of Faith a stylistically varied set on which he performed the lead vocals but he quickly went to work on fresh material with the group he has led for over four decades. Leap of Faith evidently didn't drain his creativity, as Amplified Soul is another double-length Incognito album, 70 minutes in duration. Though it doesn't feature Maysa Leak or any collaborator on the level of Transatlantic R.P.M. contributors Chaka Khan, Leon Ware, and Al McKay, it certainly isn't short on powerful and uplifting lead vocal turns.
Drummer Alphonse Mouzon's fourth solo album, The Man Incognito, was recorded in Los Angeles in late 1975 and released in 1976. Mouzon is surrounded on these nine original songs by a large and impressive group of musicians and backing vocalists including Tom Scott on saxophones, Lee Ritenour on guitar and keyboardists Dave Grusin, David Benoit and George Duke (billed here as Dawilli Gonga).
The U.K.-based supergroup Incognito released their 11th career recording and it's a sleek, pop/jazz offering that will have you swinging and swaying to their groovy guitars, big horns, and soulful vocals. This is the first time the group has recorded with its touring band and it's a whole new groove.
Incognito are a 15 piece acid jazz ensemble formed in 1980 by Jean Paul 'Bluey' Maunick who has been at the core of the band ever since. Over the years he has been joined by a host of UK and US artists including Carleen Anderson, Tony Momrelle and Gavin Harrison. They released the first of their eleven studio albums Jazz Funk in 1981, although there would be a 10 year wait for the follow up. They have had success in the UK singles charts with the top 10 hit "Always There" (with Jocelyn Brown), and the top 30 hits "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" and "Everyday". Their work has been popular with producers and has been remixed by Masters at Work, Roger Sanchez and David Morales.
From the opening bars of "Wild and Peaceful" (almost a description of the group's style) with its soaring strings, crystalline piano, and flawless vocal harmonies, it's apparent that No Time Like the Future is rich with Incognito's patented blend of soul and finesse. "It Ain't Easy," with its refrain of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," is a classic funk outcry; "Fearless" is a wordless chant with some great rhythm guitar and booting jazz saxophone; "Nights Over Egypt" backs another great vocal with popping bass and orchestral atmospherics; "Black Rain" mixes exotic drumming with some subliminal dissonance. Producer-composer-guitarist Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick has added string arrangements by Simon Hale, appearances by the horns of the hot Cuban band Irakere, and the performances of small army of R&B singers (Maysa, especially) and British contemporary jazz players (Ed Jones stands out on tenor and soprano). The result is an irresistible combination of strong songs and pulsing rhythm tracks, all polished to slippery perfection.