Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Ciyo Brown : Can We Pretend




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UK release date 01.02.2022

Jazz master extraordinaire Ciyo Brown is known as a very fine U.K. jazz and reggae guitarist but here his vocal deliveries shine through on this his long awaited follow up album.

Opener and title track, ‘Can We Pretend’ shows off his phrasing which is highly reminiscent of Omar and in ‘Eyes That Glow’ his sweet falsetto comes to the fore as does his extremely tasty guitar solo which builds robustly as he hands over the reigns to pianist, Robin Aspland who certainly gives as good as he gets!

These songs demonstrate not only the sheer musical prowess of the man as a singer and guitarist, but also the staying power of his musical chops. On the joyous sounding ‘Borderline’ the bouncy drums and piano, swirl together perfectly beneath his voice on this
excellent track and The Beatles ‘I Will’ is another highlight. It’s subtly reharmonised and yet again Brown’s velvety voice nails it, he is hitting the sweet spot once more spot on!

His drummer too has that Poogie Bell cross stick intensity especially on ‘Can We Pretend’ and ‘Eyes That Glow’ which brings us onto
the ensemble work and lively string arrangements which are well honed and all underpinned by Neville Malcolm’s fluid sounding double bass with a groove no doubt set in granite! it’s no wonder these tunes gather their own steam and rich intensity. ‘Can We Pretend’ is a highly polished affair. offering a real glimpse into Brown’s undimmed talent and his ability to improvise with his warm vocals and beautiful jazz guitar playing.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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