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The Shak are back yet again on another label. After their excellent 'Full Circle' release in 1994 on Inside Out. It's the same lineup after so many years with Bill Sharp and Roger Odell the composers of most of the tracks on this latest affair 'Shinin' on.'
Having loved their music from the early eighties, this new set has done nothing to diminish my love for their exceptional sound. Most of the cuts are mid tempo grooves with Jill Saward adding her background vocals on some of the album's highlights, which for me include, 'Sleepin' alone,' the revived 'Walkin' in the night' and 'Chase the sun.'
The album features saxophonist Ronnie Laws on theopening track entitled 'Catwalk' which as you would expect is a glorious fusion of Bill on keys and a sax lead groove by Ronnie.
Some laid back summer groovers are the bossa sounding 'Ocean sway' and the aptly named 'Blue azure' which are music to make you melt.
Shakatak fans like me will love this familiar sound which hasn't changed too much over the years. Shakatak featured prominently during our Jazz Fusion Funk period of the early eighties with hits like ' Easier said than done,' ' Down on the street' and ' Invitations.' Their later hits of 'Bitter sweet and 'Mr Manic and sister cool' never reached the heights of the aforementioned just because of the timing.
The early eighties had wonderful cuts like 'Scratch' by Surface Noise, Rodney Franklin's ' Groove,' Aquarian Dream's ' You're a star' and Shakatak's 'Chase the sun' and 'Street level'on this set fit perfectly into this category.
I'll have always been amazed at the dexterity of Bill Sharpe's playing and for first time round CJAZZ fans, rush out and buy this new album as it is solid gold awaiting to be discovered. Jazz Site Rating - 9 outa 10
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.