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ORCASTRATUM: ORCASTRATUM

Kevin Press By

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Glen Scott is one of those studio gurus without whom the world's biggest pop stars would be well and truly lost. Born to Jamaican parents in England in 1973, Scott has built a solid industry resume with a long list of world-famous references.

His most celebrated credit came in 2013, as the producer of Eric Bibb's award-wining 2013 album Jericho Road. But that only just scratches the surface. Scott has worked with Backstreet Boys, Mary J. Blige, James Blunt, Ron Sexsmith and even Engelbert Humperdinck.

Not surprisingly, his self-produced ORCASTRATUM is off-the-charts smooth. "Hallelujah Ironically" opens the 29-minute disc with Scott accompanied by a soulful Binker Golding saxophone and an equally poignant vocal by BERG. Scott's technique on the piano is world-class.

Next is the album's high point. "No Need" is an eight-minute jam built around one compellingly simple lyric: "No need for the fussin' and fightin' my friend." Sung together by Bibb and Shaneeka Simon, it's an instant classic.

The build-up that comes before their vocal is every bit as dramatic. Combining light percussion with sparse piano and acoustic guitar, this one alone is worth whatever price tag your favorite record shop chooses to put on it.

A top-notch Neville Malcolm's acoustic bass line is featured on "Spirit of the Skog." Again, Scott's piano is right on point. Robert Glasper fans take note—he may have a bit of competition on his hands.

Lounge fans are going to dig "Unexpected Relations" just as hard. The beat is all natural.

It's difficult not to gush about an album this beautifully conceived and executed. Don't be surprised if you see this on a few best-of-2018 lists.

Track Listing: Hallelujah Ironically feat. Binker Goulding & BERG; No Need Feat. Eric Bibb & Shaneeka Simon; Spirit of the Skog feat. Solo Cissokho; Unexpected Relations; Wizdoom.

Personnel: Glen Scott: piano; Eric Bibb: vocals and guitar; Solo Cissokho: vocals and kora; Binker Golding: saxophone; Shaneeka Simon: vocals; BERG: vocals; Ralph Salmins: drums, percussion; Neville Malcolm: acoustic bass; Eric Appapoulay: electric and acoustic guitar.

Title: ORCASTRATUM | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Compunctio

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