Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1094

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Review

The Eminent Stars : Bumpin' On

Em 1

8

6.3

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UK release date 22.11.2019

The Eminent Stars are a new find for me and a highly welcome one at.They've been around a few years gathering plaudits in Europe and especially Amsterdam where they put this well crafted album together.

I know it's lazy journalism to make comparisons but there is a familiarity here reminiscent of Joe Cocker circa the 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' period with some Allen Toussaint production values (whilst he was working with Lee Dorsey) thrown in for good measure.

The band also have an extraordinary soul singer who seems to have emerged fully formed as a linear inheritor of the American blues and R&B tradition.His delivery and timing are bang on even evoking a touch of Otis Redding especially on the two excellent live cuts that conclude the album.

There are plenty of great songs here,the Toots inspired opener 'After One Taste' being just one.However,the ones that really catch my attention are the staggeringly good instrumentals,namely 'Mrs Phillips' a Booker T and The MG's chip off the old block- just marvel at its riveting intensity,nothing short of a masterpiece! The other stand out tune is 'Sweet & Salty' a JB's inspired 12/8 shuffle groove that has an extremely purposeful strut to it.An absolute gem that shows off the polished and in the pocket playing of this stonking band. It's fortuitous also that Tramp records have got behind a real live concern too.All praise to them.This is a well honed and classic soul band and their stuff is sweetly infectious.....
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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