Soul Express Album Review
K.I.P. (Keep It Pushin')
US Kipper Jones Music, 2007
1) Hey You! 2) Put The Music Back In Love 3) Honey 4) Better 5) Sit Down
6) Lose To Gain 7) The Missing Piece 8) In Her Presence 9) Summer Days
10) Podna' (Pt) 1) 11) Good Time 12) Faith!
2007 has been the year of many happy returns. The latest artist to spring back to
prominence is Kipper Jones who releases his first solo set since 1990.
Seventeen years is a long hiatus, but the man was certainly not resting on his laurels.
He has written numerous hits for the likes of Brandy and Kenny Lattimore and
has now turned his hand to his own set. I have to say that this album far exceeds
his “Ordinary Story” set. To be honest, there isn’t a bad track on here.
Take for instance the brilliant opening song, “Hey You!” which reminds me of a classy
Dazz Band jam from back in the day. Did I just use that phrase?! Apologies.
The vocals, horns and funky guitar licks all speak of a better day when soul music
was a lot more mature than it is today. Kipper attests to the decline himself in
the cheekily titled “Put The Music Back In Love” – a female voice at the start
attests that ‘a sound without focus is just noise’. Hear! Hear! The clonking beats
and shaking backdrop with dreamy keys help with Kipper’s ministry to try and get the
music back on track. Amen to that!
To remind us of a better time, Kipper drops a blistering cover of The Ohio Players’
“Honey”. In fact, I MUCH prefer his version over the original, believe it or not.
It not only smacks of the Players themselves, but the vocals also warmly fit those of
Earth, Wind & Fire, and especially Philip Bailey. Sugarfoot and the
gang would be proud of this interpretation and you can just feel the love that Kipper
put into this.
“Summer Days” with its warm keys and synth is simply a dream. The deep, resinous bass
adds dreaminess to proceedings, and Kipper’s own vocal arrangements are simply spellbinding.
The harmony is second to none. Tracks such as “Better”, “Good Time” and “The Missing Piece”
straddle the more conventional and the modern styles perfectly; the Spartan arrangements
and tapping beat a nod to the hip hop generation, the organ and old school sensibilities
belie greater depth and experience, very much in the way that Kenny Lattimore does business.
This is, then, a solid release and should be welcomed by every generation of soul music
- Barry Towler
of the Month in 2007
of the Month in 2006
of the Month in 2005
of the Month in 2004
of the Month in 2003
of the Month in 2002
of the Month in 2001
of the Month in 2000
of the Month in 1999
of the Month in 1998
of the Month in 1997
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