Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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The Soul Immigrants @Robert Elms' Soul Friday: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 2/5/14

The Soul Immigrants: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 2/5/14 @bluesandsoul.com
The Soul Immigrants: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 2/5/14 @bluesandsoul.com The Soul Immigrants: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 2/5/14 @bluesandsoul.com Robert Elms' Soul Friday: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 2/5/14 @bluesandsoul.com The Soul Immigrants: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 2/5/14 @bluesandsoul.com The Soul Immigrants: Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London 3/5/14 @bluesandsoul.com

Robert Elms' Soul Friday got off to another cracking start with the smoovely swaggernificent Soul Immigrantsâ€Â¦this highly regarded outfit, came armed with a plentiful supply of Brit verve, in fact not unlike the host of the evening! Suffice to say, the grits and gravy grooviness of tonight's music fitted perfectly at this relaxed, mainly dining venue, which is fast rivalling the best the West End can offer.

Boogaloo was on the menu tonight as TSI prised open Kenny Burrell's "Chitlin Con Carne" with a jazzy mash-up, fusing Freddie Hubbard's "The Weasel". Ian Bailey's mellifluous flute wafted over the culinary ether, sweetly chanelling a touch of Hubert Laws whilst alto sax player Lady Dee plied her primal playing on a version of Miles Davis' "All Blues". Traditionally a piece in 3/4, but this time transformed when given the deep funk treatment complete with a bone deep drum break. Groove laden lushness! "Pass the peas dear!"

"High On Love" sees the call and response technique Emrys is known for i.e. badgering the audience to participate and bring everyone a little closerâ€Â¦fair do! However, he could have maybe taken it down a notch on this occasion, as his irrepressible character cut sharp, releasing his inner Butlins redcoat on the startled and unsuspecting diners!

"Golden Summer Rays" was up next and was exactly what it says on the tin! They should release it here (unfortunately only available at the moment as a japanese import!) it's got that early Incognito vibe about it - fresh, funky and fulfilling.

The Soul Immigrants proved once again that they are one of the most authentic soul jazz/funk outfits out there, firmly establishing themselves as a 'must see'. With soaring horns, blistering guitar and gut-wrenching organ, fuelled by the hardest grooving drummer this side of the wharf, David 'Bam Bam' Bouet, producing a butt-shakingly powerhouse performance! With a heavier nod to their funk heroes than most bands on the scene, these tip-top groove merchants fuse perfectly.

The band has recently released an album on P-Vine Records in Japan (where this South London outfit are popular) You can also catch their wares on several compilations alongside acts such as; The Brand New Heavies, Omar and Incognitoâ€Â¦shame they are not as well known on their own turf, but I'm sure that change with the release of their album here in the UK.
Words LEO ISAACS

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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