Emanuel Casablanca: It's Getting Strange

Phillip Woolever By

Sign in to view read count
Emanuel Casablanca: It's Getting Strange
Emanuel Casablanca is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn who displays a classic sense of experience that belies his relatively young age while invoking prime characteristics of iconic blues and soul artists. The result is a solid album that carries more down-home southern-based traits than a metropolitan-manufactured product.

The basic sophistication of the smoothly developed opener, "It's Getting Strange," provides a good introduction to his talent as Casablanca shows he can hit the high notes, low register and points in between with charisma and chops. A crisp guitar solo seems a bit too brief, but Casablanca proves he can successfully make a statement short and sweet. Ian Howells adds piano accentuation.

"Woman Made of Gold" is a slow rocking, heartbreak lament, while "Give Me Peace" is a righteous anthem that conveys personal reflection with powerful, old school gospel-tinged vocals and just a taste of fuzz box guitar that calls out for more.

"Signs of Love" shines like a Beale Street sunrise and conjures images of Al Green and B.B. King, served up like a rib-joint breakfast after a long night of romance. Howell's keyboards offer some more smooth touches to wash it all down well. "I Can See" is a more traditional country style blues song with a light-hearted aesthetic that sounds easy but is actually one of the trickiest forms of the genre to pull off effectively. The song sticks to the ear like Mississippi riverside honey.

Casablanca's team makes a point of crediting engineers Paul Howells and singularly titled Tamas as musical contributors in promotional information, which is well warranted since the fine band sounds tight as can be, with a virtually live tonal presence throughout.

The abbreviated five song album/EP only clocks in for around twenty minutes of music, but it's a solid offering overall and no time or tone is wasted. Casablanca seems to possess all the gifts that lead to stardom.

Track Listing

It's Getting Strange; I Can See; Woman Made of Gold; Signs of Love; Give Me Peace.


Emanuel Casablanca: guitar; Ian Howells: keyboards; Kyle Miles: bass; Dustin McFadden: drums.

Album information

Title: It's Getting Strange | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Ropeadope

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read Improdimensions
Agustí Fernández / Liudas Mockūnas
Read In Baltimore
In Baltimore
George Coleman
Read Escape The Flames
Escape The Flames
Binker and Moses

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.