Thursday, July 25, 2013

Camera Soul Not For Ordinary People Azzurra Music 2013

Camera Soul is perhaps one of only three European acts with the talent to crash the American market for contemporary jazz in a meaningful way.
Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

Take contemporary jazz sensibilities and combine them the influences of Earth Wind and Fire and Tower of Power and you have one of the most prolific sounds to come out of Europe since Down To The Bone. The sophomore release Not For Ordinary People is the natural evolution for this world class group of both studio and live performance artists. An incredibly innovative hybrid of British acid jazz and American funk to create a new sound that fittingly originates in Italy, a virtual sonic gold mine.

American radio programmers would be quick to slap a smooth jazz tag on this collective but that would be the very definition of a rush to judgement. Not For Ordinary People is fresh but with a decidedly retro groove of Tower of Power in their prime. Artistic comparisons are inherently unfair but when dealing with an act from outside the United States, a point of reference will certainly give you an idea of what their groove is all about and it is indeed a righteous groove. If the Big Apple had a sonic pulse, this may well be it. The lead vocals of Serena Brancale are spot on and as flavorful as any artist you can name working here in the States. Camera Soul is a global collective led by composer-arrangers, and brothers Piero and Pippo Lombardo. In the spirit of a cross-continental Internet throw down we have Denver- based pianist and ASCAP composer, Kathryn Ballard Shut contributing the lyrics to "Locked Inside" while Pippo Lombardo blows out the bridge and pumps up the horns for a gorgeous three dimensional sound on this exquisite ballad. This particular tune flips the more traditional "smooth" sound of the first release to a soulful and soul filled ballad that runs in perfect parallel to the popping tile track "Not For Ordinary People."

Smooth jazz gets a bad rap and on occasion deservedly so. A smooth jazz guitarist once told me an artist will be as creative as he or she feels the need to be and herein lies the problem. A relatively stagnant genre that has attempted to limp by based on the pretentious vibe of the "chill effect." No change, no growth, no innovation has caused a revolving door in a radio format long since left for dead. Camera Soul and Not For Ordinary People welcome you to the land of rhythm and groove - big difference.

Five_star_rating : Five stars ratings Stock Photo

Tracks: Not For Ordinary People; Mama; For A Lifetime; I Don't Like Flowers; She; My Heart; Time Fades Away; Full Of Me; Nobody Else; I'm Fool; Locked Inside; The Happiest Day; Not For Ordinary People.

Personnel: Pippo Lombardo: Project Leader, Composer, Keyboards, Arrangements; Piero Lombardo: Project Leader, Composer; Serena Brancale: Lead Vocal, Composer; Beppe Sequestro: Bass; Giantuca Cardellicchio: Rhythm Guitar; Liviana Ferri: Percussion; Mimmo Campanale: Drums; Daniele Scannapieco: Sax Solos; Gianfranco Campagnoti: Trumpet, Flugelhorn Solo; Bruno Tassone: Sax; Francesco Palmitessa: Guitar Solos; Piero Dotti: Background Vocals