Full speed and miles ahead of the game
“Dance With Life”
London, England native Phyliss Gooden, who now calls Montreal her home, comes at us with a new three-song EP, a tour de forc, with breathtaking vocals and musical arrangements, which leave the listener both seduced and rejuvenated all at once.
Gooden, who majored in Jazz Studies at Concordia University under the tutelage of jazz scholar and musician Charles Ellison, has had her praises sung over the years from everybody like songstress Jeri Brown to drum legend Max Roach.
On her debut EP Dance With Life, Gooden captivates the listener with musical tapestries that are sensually caressed with her vox that redefine phrasing.
On “Calling Out Your Name”, she evokes Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” period with hypnotic guitar under a funky swing beat, she croons as though The Cotton Club was transformed into 2016, all the while sounding totally contemporary.
Gooden opens the tune with the Dylanesque lyrics; “There is a sign upon the wall, keep all your secrets to yourself, you know the less you say the more you can deny”.
“Name” is accented by weavings of piano with Gooden easily crooning over the vamp , verse and chorus without even thinking too hard about it.
The Bob Marley tinged title track opens with a guitar tremolo that Gooden’s voice tames as if to show any other instruments who’s in charge and in this case it’s her voice.
The socially conscious title track with its reggae groove becomes even more irresistible when Gooden’s voice flirts between falsetto and baritone on this tune about sharing the world’s precious resources with every fellow-man.
The EP’s gem is “Journeying Home….She,” which sets up an acoustic delight reminiscent of “Crazy You” from Prince’s 1978 debut album “For You”.
The congas and acoustic guitar’s samba jazz flavour set a dreamy backdrop for Gooden’s lyrics of vulnerability and dreams of the future; “She will keep on tryin’, movin’ forward, strivin’ to become all she’s willing to be”
Gooden is out the blocks on her 1st set full speed and miles ahead of the game when it comes to controlling her voice like an instrument of passion and glory.
DJ Memetic knows that Albums Matter
“TIMEKODE X Vol.2”
– Montreal – DJ Memetic – TK Records
Toronto born, Ottawa based DJ Memetic hits us off with a 3rd offering and the 2nd volume in the “TIMEKODE” series. “TIMEKODE X Vol.1” – Ottawa was centered around the nation’s capital’s hip-hop funk. Vol.1’s concept was racism and police brutality stemming from the shooting death of Abdirahman Abdi, an unarmed Black man by Ottawa police. Abdi, who suffered from mental illness, was a Muslim born in Somalia. His tragic death sparked outrage among people in the nation’s capital, thus tying in the incident with the Black Lives Matter movement Stateside.
The Souljazz Orchestra and Bonjay were featured on that release.
On Vol.2, Memetic enlists the talents of some of Montreal finest, just to show ‘em how we do in Mount Real and again the theme is police and Black men.
“Running From Your Love”(TIMEKODE No Love Remix), showcases Freak Motif(ft. Lady C, Bender & Hyfidelik) is funky with DJ Premier style production and cuts reminiscent of his 1994 project with Branford Marsalis, “Buckshot LeFonque”
Lady C.’s vocals massage a Gang Starr style hip-hop groove with real talk lyrics by Bender & Hyfidelic.
Montreal’s funkiest band to date; Dark Maat’r with ties to Kalmunity Jazz Project, check in with the cut “The Last ?” , featuring the soulful voice of Malika Tirolien.
“The Last ?” receives the remix treatment courtesy on Montreal DJ extraordinaire Scott C.
His “Love Yourself Remix” on “The Last ?”, strips the song down to the bone with nothing left but its funky skeleton.
Memetic’s “Police Paranoia Instrumental” highlights the bass and eerie guitar tremolo fueled by handclaps and occasional dub like voice drippings.
High point of the set is “Memetic’s Cleaver Cut re Dub” of “The Last ?” with an unforgettable sample of a speech by Black Panther For Self-Defence Minister Of Information Eldridge Cleaver.
Like Prince said at the 2016 Grammy Awards; “Albums still matter, like books and Black lives, albums still matter”
Rating = 7/10