Buy this album from our CD Shop VARIOUS ARTISTS: – Kloud 9 Presents The Vibe Room
(UK Expansion, 2006)
Intro – Kendall Duffie / Everything You Need – 2-WAY / Didn’t Think – KLOUD 9 / Jonesin’
– MEN_NEFER / Treasure – LEZA / Ooh Baby I – TIM DILLINGER / I Can – ALTHEA RENE / Runnin’
– MAYSA / Sunny Day – MEN-NEFER / Get Away – 2-WAY / You Got Me – LEZA / Feel Love –
TIA SMEDLEY / Chill Funk – MICHAEL FAIR / Outro - Kendall Duffie
Kendall and Kelvis Duffie – Kloud 9 – have compiled a hot set of Nashville talent for
our listening pleasure and have sagely called it "The Vibe Room". This is an area where I
know you will feel as home as I. I was thrilled to see that one of my faves, Tim Dillinger,
is involved. This man is a phenomenal talent and to have him here on a new track is fantastic.
Most other names are new to me, bar Flugel Horn player Michael Fair and
Maysa, of course. It's an essential set and one aimed fairly and squarely at the modern
soul fraternity. It's overflowing with toe tappers and head nodders and all cuts are of
the highest calibre. I was most impressed with the sexy duo called 2-Way who launch
us into the soulful stratosphere with a groove that is so mid-80s its unbelievable.
Midnight Star, anyone? FANTASTIC groove from these gals, and their more contemporary
"Get Away" has more of an urban, hip hop jazz flavour to it. Both tracks fit these lasses
like a glove. Very nice.
The brothers themselves add their own mark with the understated "Didn’t Think" which should
garner much airplay on more respectable stations. "Jonesin’" has an early-mid 90s UK flavour
a la Ray Hayden / Opaz which is rather pleasant, and even more remarkable for a
Lady called Men-Nefer who is more at home on the Memphis soul circuit! Flugel Horn
comes courtesy of Michael Fair. Michael currently has a smooth Jazz set available via
CD Baby which comes recommended, and his own inclusion here is the cool "Chill Funk"
which I know will not disappoint.
The groove of "Treasure" reminds me of Donell Jones’ excellent "U Know What’s Up" –
this though has more substance and more adult lyrics. Leza proves that she is
certainly no piece of musical junk. The brothers have indeed discovered treasure with
this silky songbird. Fans of Tim Dillinger will not be disappointed with this impassioned
slice of blue-eyed soul. His vocals are expressive, dripping with soul and altogether
effortless. If only we had more vocalists of this calibre today. "Oooh Baby I" will
not be one that you will overlook. In fact, the more I play this track the more
it grows on me.
One of my favourite instruments is the flute. It's Althea Rene who kicks up a storm
with "I Can" and the real instrumentation chugs along at a fresh pace, Kloud 9 on
backing vocals and plenty of atmospheric keys help to boot.
For me it’s Maysa who sends this CD into outer space. This is one hell of a track
and I cannot stop playing it. "Runnin’" reminds me of a more soulful, albeit less
bass heavy, Masters At Work moment, and if you are a fan of their fantastic
tunes then you will soon want to give this track a spin. It's one of the best uptempo
tracks I’ve heard in AGES. Worth the price of the CD for this song alone, let alone all
the other corkers displayed for our titillation.
Tia Smedley has a nice vocal presence, and her spoken effort reminds me of the style
of 90s group Voyceboxing. This is far better than Leza’s second effort, "You Got Me"
which is possibly the weakest link in the chain. And even in saying that don’t presume
it’s a bad track either! After a wobbly, contemporary start, it soon picks up into a
nice midtempo. Can do without the megaphone homey bit at the start, though. Not becoming,
really. There. The grumpy old git has spoken! A big ‘Hurrah!’ to the Kendall Brothers
for their overseeing and production and a round of applause for all the talented
singers and musicians involved. I hope you’re all ready for another volume, guys?