Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Alan Evans: Let It Ride (Vintage League Music)

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UK release date 16.02.2021

Vintage League Music keep their momentum going with another release fast on the back of their recent and excellent Family Album Vol. 1. Here co-founder Alan Evans releases his solo album that was only released in Japan way back in 2004. The good news is the material sounds fresh, timeless with high energy and it's extraverted too.

Opener, party tune "Do It Again' has got a funky punch to it and is highly infectious with some choice Maceo type sax adorning this peach of a tune and Evans' vocals have braggadocio, this is a great start in anybody's books. Next up, instrumental "Hot And Greezy" follows suit too with crispy drums pushing things along, reminds me of Eddie Harris, boisterous and on the money. Evans is savvy enough to surround himself with the finest and groove ridden musicians who are worth mentioning...

Namely: Aaron Bellamy (Chaka Khan, Beyonce, Cee-Lo Green), Mike Feingold (Jay-Z, Erykah Badu), Ruslan Sirota (Stanley Clarke, Josh Groban), Sam Kininger (Lettuce, Soulive, Dave Matthews), Cochemea Gastelum (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga), Atticus Cole (Lettuce, Bill Cole), Amee Jana, Skip Jennings, Nikki Glaspie (Nth Power, Dumpstaphunk, Beyonce). These guys have added historic value to the label and should be commended.

"Let it Ride" slips into blue-eyed soul territory akin to say, Boz Scaggs, and has some gorgeous and nimble synth lines floating throughout and the chant infused "Are You With Me" sees your man channelling James Brown, blessed with a killer wah wah riff and with that Maceo thing going on again... it's a really great cut.

This is sweet and low dirty funk that's going to appeal to many. Suffice to say, the quality doesn't let up with the rest of the album, overall it's an excellent effort and a great addition to the VLM vaults. And from an artistic perspective, it is as commendable as it is riveting.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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