Album: Leap Of Faith
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Quality: mp3, VBR V0
01. Stronger (4:45)
02. Got To Let My Feelings Show (4:10)
03. Ain’t Nobody’s Business (6:39)
04. Take A Chance On Me (5:10)
05. If You Really Wanna (4:46)
06. Live Like A Millionaire (2:49)
07. Keep Myself Together (4:18)
08. Sky (4:06)
09. Why Did I Let You Go (5:10)
10. Leap Of Faith (3:45)
The phrase “leading from behind” could have been created with Jean Paul “Bluey” Maunick in mind. Bluey is the leader of the band Incognito, an outfit that he founded in 1979. Yet, many music fans are likely to associate the band with one of many vocalists that Bluey has deployed as lead singers, such as Maysa. It’s not that Bluey never sings on any of Incognito’s albums. He just never made a concerted effort to add lead vocalist to the many hats he wears.
That changes with Bluey’s latest recording, Leap of Faith. The project’s name serves as an apt description. Bluey’s comfort level rests in the other aspects of music production and his desire to sing more had to battle with the insecurities Bluey harbored about his abilities to stand as the leading vocalist.
Bluey’s voice is pleasant – not spectacular but certainly not offensive. But then he shocks the listener by adopting a falsetto on “Live Like a Millionaire,” which may very well be best all-around track on Leap of Faith. The melody adopts an L.A. funk feel that might remind some of Charles Wright and the 103 St. Watts Band, and Bluey’s breezy falsetto adds a layer of fun to a track about a woman living the fantasy of being rich and the guy who wants to share the dream with her.
By the time Bluey digs into the next number, the mid-tempo “Keep Myself Together,” the artist has found his comfort zone as a vocalist. Bluey adopts a conversational soft tenor to tell the tale of a guy trying to maintain his composure after learning that the lost love is set to return to his life.
The vocals on “Live Like a Millionaire” and “Keep Myself Together” may place Bluey in a different realm. However, the instrumentals that move seamlessly from funk to rock to R&B are typical Incognito. The fact that the musicianship is consistently strong on Leap of Faith won’t surprise anyone who knows anything about Incognito. Nor will long time fans be shocked to hear that the record is an amalgamation of upbeat dance tracks such as “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” mid-tempo funk influence tunes like “Take a Chance on Me” and the Afro-Latin tinged “Sky.”
It wouldn’t be surprising if Bluey chooses place the mic back in the hands of his stable of talented vocalists on future Incognito projects. However, based on the quality of Leap of Faith, if he decides to grab the microphone on future Incognito albums, a lot fans will be cool with that. Recommended.
By Howard Dukes