3

Robin McKelle & The Flytones: Soul Flower

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
First, Robin McKelle & The Flytones Soul Flower is not neo-soul. Neo-soul is what Amy Winehouse was and Cee Lo Green is (at least on his "Forget You"). Neo-soul is a cheeky attempt to cash in on a classic style while, at the same time, not taking it seriously. Second, Soul Flower might be better termed retro-soul, except that McKelle avoids the pitfall of clinging too tightly to the old style that has plagued other artists trying to put a new spin on the soul canon. A mixture of originals with some clever covers make up Soul Flower. McKelle is a more than capable composer—a roll she shares with Sam Barsh (bassist Avishai Cohen's former pianist).

For any Baby Boomer, Soul Flower can be eaten with a spoon. It is more Motown than Memphis by way of Muscle Shoals, and smacks of Bobbie Gentry having a pool party with Gladys Knight and the Pointer Sisters. McKelle possesses a contemporary authenticity that manifests in her assimilation of multiple older styles presented with a freshness that has the fragrance of experience re-imagined. Pianist Beat Kaestli Ben Stivers ' use of the electric piano lends this collection of a dozen songs that sound, which is at once retro and chic. This, coupled with McKelle's honesty, makes this a recording that should encourage a reappraisal of period soul and that being made today. And isn't that what all art is supposed to do?

Track Listing: So It Goes; Tell You One Thing; Nothing's Really Changed; Fairytale Ending; Miss You Madly; Don't Give Up; Walk on By; To Love Somebody; Change; I'm Ready; Love's Work; I'm a Fool to Want You.

Personnel: Robin McKelle: vocals; Derek Nievergelt: bass; Adrian Harpham: drums; Ben Stivers: keyboards; Al Street: guitar, Scott Aruda: trumpet; Mike Tucker: saxophone.

Title: Soul Flower | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Sony Masterworks

About Robin McKelle
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read Never More Here
Never More Here
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Lanzarote
Lanzarote
By Gareth Thompson
Read Strong Thing
Strong Thing
By Geannine Reid
Read Ocean in a Drop
Ocean in a Drop
By Geno Thackara