Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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The Brand New Heavies + Bassment Project: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13

Dawn Joseph - Brand New Heavies: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13
Dawn Joseph - Brand New Heavies: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13 Dawn Joseph - Brand New Heavies: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13 Dawn Joseph - Brand New Heavies: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13 Dawn Joseph - Brand New Heavies: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13 Bassment Project: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13 Bassment Project: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13 Bassment Project: Jazz Cafe 12/12/13

A band such as legendary as the Brand New Heavies (who have been around since the late 80's) consist of two creations, an impressive body of work and a recognisable, signature sound. That sound becomes something reassuring and expected from long term fans. The listener hears just a few bars of any tune and knowing recognition can be seen in smiles and nodding heads that mark the return of an old friend. This definitely was the case at a sellout / rammed Jazz Cafe on this their fourth successive night.

The scene had been set with opening act, Bassment Project, whose mixture of down tempo nu-soul and funk went down a treat. Another home grown talent from London fronted by guitarist and lead singer Mike Davies, who certainly impressed with his natural flair, blue eyed soul and expressiveness. This new collective seem to tick all the right boxes and B&S will be taking a distinct interest in what their future holds. One to watch me thinks!

Utilising the goodwill the support band had mustered with the crowd, the BNH wasted no time getting into their groove and kicked off in fine extremely fettle with an acutely funked up version of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", which frankly blew me away! Largely due to the rather wonderful Ms Dawn Joseph, whose stylish entrance had all the thrill and excitement of a Paris catwalk. Super talented, super fit and looking a million dollars, this newly instated singer showed us exactly why she's got the lead role in this hot musical outfit. She exudes class and a sassy savour faire which bodes well. She is a real shot in the arm and exactly what any cult heritage band need in their arsenal!

Drummer Jan Kincaid kicked in with a souped up version of "Back To Love" from their eponymous album "Brother Sister". They're aren't many drummers who take the lead vocal, this guy can clearly multi task. Trumpeter Dan Carpenter excelled on blowing his horn to the max on this evergreen which the band obviously love playing. This was also heavily evident with a classic outing of "Dream On Dreamer" which sweetly segued seamlessly into "Midnight At The Oasis."

Shift of mood with a plaintive piano intro from keys master Matt Steele came next in the shape of "Sunlight", which morphed into a disco tinged ditty, one of the few tunes taken from the spanking new album "Forward." Bassist Andrew Levy, who clearly loves his job, was really getting into his stride too…his pumping, yet nimble, basslines really add to the mix and his bass way solo was sublime on their deep funk classic "Gimme One Of Those" - as was renaissance man, Simon Bartholomew's adroit contributions, a man who clearly relishes the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd!

A fantastic set with a mixture of classic early tracks and signature tune age, mixed with consummate musicianship, was the order of the day and the sound was great in this compact venue - the arrangements and flow of the numbers was top drawer. Clearly the Brand New Heavies seem to just go from strength to strength. A fantastic Thursday night listening to quality live music in the great Jazz Cafe. The set was well chosen and to see the Ealing trio having worked their magic with new talent in the shape of (fashion conscious and fine purveyor of daring costumes) Dawn Joseph, keeping the spirit of the Heavies still going is quite simply astounding!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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