If you have been a fan of British jazz-funk and soul music for more than twenty years, you’ll know Shakatak. And if you know Shakatak, you’ll know George Anderson – he’s been holding down the low end since the early 80’s.
His touring schedule, both with Shak and with his own band is very hectic – you only need to look at his
Facebook page to see that.
Let’s talk about what came out of the sessions for his latest solo CD...
Now, I’m a card-carrying funkateer and I’m immediately hooked on ‘G-Funk’. Ah, so you know where he’s going with this. A heavy groove, layers of vocals, some sweet horns and a great hook. All that’s missing is Bootsy saying “yeayah!” If you want to know how loud your stereo will go, why not find out with this?
I love this shout out to the halcyon days of funk, but make no mistake, this record is bang on trend. The addictive dancer ‘Miracle’ is as good a soul record as you’ll dance to this year. There’s a compulsive groove too on the soulful ‘Don’t Waste my Time’. If you play this in the car, heads will be nodding...
If you want something that’s the essence of feelgood, ‘Joys of Life’ should be the next on your list. There’s a lovely upfront bass sound on this track that drives it really nicely. ‘All or Nothing’ has so much ‘air’ in that rhythm – it’s swingbeat. I lived in London for most of the 80’s – and I’m right back there.
At the start, I was talking jazz-funk and soul. The jazz-funkers will lap up ‘Miller Time’. Now, you work out who this is a tribute to when you hear it, and while you’re working it out, try to remember where you heard that cheeky horn riff before (I’ve figured it out, but I’m saying nothing...). This shifts moods really nicely and I smile every time I hear it – it’s about the bass y’all!
It’s clear to me from hearing George’s live CD that he knows the meaning of ‘crowd-pleaser’. So, imagine yourself down near the stage on a hot night, just about anywhere, going wild to ‘Festival de la Vida’. Now I’m not going to say ‘shades of George Duke’. Yes I am!! Good Lord, that piano solo will get you. It will get you! George, I’m coming out to see you – just promise you’ll play this!
The funk’s here, the jazzers will hear things they’ll love and soul music is alive and well. ‘Beautiful’ not only has a lovely vocal, it’s written in waltz time and has very sexy fretless bass and sax solos. Give ‘Promised Land’ a couple of plays and you won’t be able to get it out of your head. I’m a soul fan and I love live music so the closer, a live version of EWF’s transcendental ‘Can’t Hide Love’ is literally making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
I want to find a clever way to sum this record up. OK, I’ll give it my best shot. It feels like George has thought about everything he has enjoyed listening to and playing for the last 40 years, worked out where that overlaps with his fans’ tastes and then just written, played and produced his heart out.
Who’s this album for? This is the easy bit – it’s for YOU.
Secret Records SECCD156
– Producer George