Incognito : Tales From the Beach

Throughout the 30 years of Incognito’s existence, the one constant, of course, has been leader, songwriter, guitarist and spiritual guru Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick. Bluey claims to have worked with more than 1,000 musicians and vocalists during his long career on the road and in the studio. That might explain why Incognito’s CDs have been consistently funky and fresh, even against the backdrop of the sensual vocals of frequent contributors Maysa, Tony Momrelle, Joy Rose and Imaani. What’s missing on Tales From the Beach, once again unfortunately, is a killer breakthrough song, one that you’d think a band as talented as this could produce with ease.

This is still a CD Incognito fans will embrace, and cowriters and producers Francis Hylton, Simon Gray, Richard Bull, Matt Cooper, Dominic Oakenfull and Julian Crampton groove and jam on with 13 soul-drenched, brassy vocal tunes imbued, for the most part, with positivity. Nothing too memorable, though, which is a shame. The best two efforts are vocalese tunes that sparkle with jazzy creativity: “Never Look Back” with Maysa and the title track with Momrelle.