It's Who We Are
N-Groove is a new
founded group of guitarist Roberto Tyson, drummer C.C.
Givens and bassist Cheikh Ndoye. Their debut album It's Who We Are
(2007) was recorded to create
radio friendly groove oriented jazz music. Their mission is to
make music which is interesting, stimulating and diverse.
Heart and soul of the
group is drummer C.C. Gives who defines himself as "Renaissance Man"
and plays several instruments on this album. All songs on this album
are originals, mostly composed by the group members with the exception
of the second tune Funny How
Time Flies. Additional
guest musicians are Benito Gonzales (piano), Monica Ssali (vocals),
Al Williams (sax), Carl McIntyre (flugelhorn), Matvei Sigalov (electric
violin), Brad Booth (electric piano), Scott Hedges (guitar), Shaun Jurek (guitar), Romero Wyatt (percussion) and Eli Staples (piano).
You And Me, the starting ballade showcases
what this album stands all about. The wonderful voice of Monica Ssali
supported by professional instrumentalists. Outstanding instrument is
Cheik Ndoye's fretless bass who gives the group its signature sound.
A second time we met
Monica on the cover of the popular hit Funny How Time Flies
composed by James Harris III and Terry Lewis Jackson. The song was
tailored for Janet Jackson breakthrough album Control (1986)
and is still an R&B classic. Carl McIntyre's contribution on
Flugelhorn with a nice dose of reverb gains the appeal of celestial
brings more the nucleus of N-Groove into foreground: Instrumental
mastership. Brilliant on keys Benito Gonzales with a jazzy attitude.
Bring It On Let's Go is a testimony for jazz and Funk. Cheikh Ndoye's
bass and C.C. Givens' wah guitar are the bringer of message.
It's Who We Are
is one of the highlights of this album. A catchy melody, an
infectious rhythm, fascinating arrangement and a group mesmerizing
with a high level of professionalism. The song reminds me of the group
Brand New Heavies. A great surprise is Matvei Sigalov on electric
violin. This is the musical way Matvei should go in the future.
So Sexxy is a
smooth ballade featuring doyen Al Williams on soprano sax. Al is known
by his work with Stanley Clarke, Jeff Beck, John Lee, Jerry Brown and
Rodney Franklin. I love his performance on Exodus Quartet's Summer
On When We Get
There pianist Eli Staples shows his prowess. Eli garnered some
accolades as jazz pianist in the Washington area. Smooth jazz fans
will know about his performance with Maysa Leak. The intro and some
phrases of the following Ooh We Oh Yeah confirmed my impression
of an excellent talent.
What can be a better
proof for the brilliance of N-Groove than the fusion-break Dfunkt.
Only an independent group can make such a performance outside the path
of radio-like music.
version of It's Who We Are clarifies: We witness the birth of a
great group. This album has substance and a solid potential for a
- N-Groove - Website
- Buy the album at
- Title: It's Who We Are
Genre: Smooth Jazz
01 You And Me [5:23]
02 Funny How Time Flies [3:55]
03 Groove Serum [3:52]
04 Bring It On Let's Go [3:04]
05 It's Who We Are [5:00]
06 So Sexxy [5:27]
07 When We Get There [4:54]
08 Ooh We Oh Yeah [4:21]
09 Dfunkt [6:04]
10 It's Who We Are (Reprise) [4:36]