Review: Incognito – Bees + Things + Flowers
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Bees + Things + Flowers
The thing that I love about this whole Couch Sessions thing is the not just the music that I get in my mailbox every week, but the little gems I discover that I would never hear of otherwise.
I put the latest Incognito disc in that category. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t know much of anything about Incognito. My friend almost slapped me when I told him this. Apparently the UK group killed it when they played the Capital Jazz Fest last year, and they’ve been together almost as many years as I’ve been alive.
But now I’m in the know. Still, I was hesitant about touching this CD, because jazz covers can always be hit or miss. Just look at the Hidden Beach Recording series. But there is something about this CD that’s just….damn. It’s hard to explain. Bees + Things + Flowers reworks everything from previous Incognito recordings to Roy Ayers and Earth Wind and Fire. But unlike most of these radio-ready jazz projects that seem phoned in, everything about this disc is done well. The arrangements are major, with 16 piece string section thrown in for measure, and the whoever mastered the CD made it sound as if the whole band is in the back seat of your car while you’re sittin’ in traffic.
One must also admire the choice of covers that are featured on this disc. We all know that Roy Ayer’s “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” has been sampled, remixed, and reworked to death, but for some reason it sounds fresh and original. Closing out the CD is a 9 minute rework of Earth Wind and Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World,” that you pretty much don’t want to end.
This CD is definitely for the “grown and sexy” set. But even if you’re not a fan of acid jazz, soul, “quiet storm,” or whatever they call it these days, you should still buy this for you mom and impress the hell outta her. Seriously it’s just that good.