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Soul Express Album Review

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Shine A Light
US Satya
1) Stranger Here 2) Karma Wheel 3) Dearest Sun 4) Bora's Bounce 5) A New Paradise 6) Pond Life (Intro) 7) Shine A Light 8) Nothin' getting' Me Down 9) Durian Groove (Intro) 10) On The Phone 11) The Sweetness Of You 12) Truth And Love 13) Sarve Shaam

The Satya project, from Boston, is the collaboration between Marcos Sainz and Juan Galiardo. Having met in Boston at the renown Berklee College of Music, and after years of composing, arranging and live performing the result is the eclectic and essential "Shine a Light".  For those of you who love to listen to a CD with many flavours and textures, there is no better set about at the moment than this.

I would say that the Satya Project's style is a amorphous blend of Soul, Jazz and Funk, featuring both instrumentals and vocals.  Two tracks are sung by an old hero and friend of Soul Express - Kelli Sae.  The first is the superb, brassy "Karma Wheel".  Fans of her work with Incognito will easily hook up with this tune.  I suppose that one could also nod some props toward the like of Tower & Power and the Average White Band, too.  Anyway, this song will be one you will undoubtedly enjoy, so cast any doubts aside. 

Her second venture, "Truth And Love" is another brassy, jazzier effort resplendent with strings courtesy of The City of Prague Filharmonic!  Other collaborators include musicians such as Mark Whitfield, Miguel Gandelman, Darren Barrett, Bernd Voss, Tito Alcedo, Marcos Vigio, Manolo Nieto, Alexei Gordeev, Aaron Bellamy, Louis Cato, Keko Baldomero, Juan Diego Mateos, Lolo el Pajaro, Samantha Nelson, Ettore 'Thor' Dulay, Lucas Vidal, Marcos Sainz and Juan Galiardo.

Some sizeable roll-call, but all musicians and vocalists deserve a shout-out for this work.  It's pure class.  <

Check, if you need to the superb "Nothin' Getting Me Down" for not only being a great slab of bouncy, jazzy funkiness but for being so darn positive, cheery and just what we need for this wet, damp, cold and miserable January!  "The Sweetness Of You" is a KILLER cut featuring Samantha Nelson-Gums and will, I am sure sure, soon hit high in Soul Express' "Quality Time" chart.  Not only do the vocals shine brightly, but the exquisite flugel horn, sax and instrumentation serve as a delicious real, live musical backdrop.  This song deserves to be massive. 

My favourite song, though, is the wonderful, wonderful "Shine A Light" is simply jaw-dropping.  I immediately fell in love with this song...the slap bass, flugelhorn, strings and other real instruments.  As with the forthcoming Embers release, I was instantly transported back to the mid 80s.  If this is the direction of quality black music in 2008 - and I sincerely hope it is - then here is one more than satisfied customer. Check out CD Baby for copies!
- Barry Towler

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