Undoubtedly, Berklee College of Music educated keyboardist and singer Oli Rockberger possesses a truly irresistible voice. True, his compositions and vocal style are vaguely reminiscent of Mose Allison, Georgie Fame and Sting (and, pray, is that a bad thing?); but there's definitely a uniqueness to the delivery of his attractive and memorable songs. He's lived in America for sixteen years but has now returned to his native London, but not before recording this fine album in New York City, released on Michael Janisch's admirable Whirlwind Recordings label.
"Let's Stay Home" is a bluesy, soulful opener, imbued with shades of Steve Winwood and even Paul Simon too. The rousing emotion of "My Old Life" celebrates Rockberger's former time in the States and looks forward to his new renaissance in England. On "Is Anybody Out There?" Rockberger utilises a neat passing falsetto to add poignancy to the hook line of the song, whilst Hannah Read contributes some vital backing vocals on "Right Through Me"
There's a stinging electric guitar break on "Ridiculous" from Ryan Scott and the complex harmonies of "The Garden" are sumptuous. "Burned" has strains of Randy Newman flowing through its satisfying, perfectly-balanced construction plus there's some apposite slide guitar, again from Scott. With Sovereign Rockberger successfully succeeds in melding elements of pop, soul, blues, country, rock and jazz and the resulting live-in-the-studio album is nothing less than enchanting.
Track Listing: Let's Stay Home; My Old Life; Is Anybody Out There?; Vertigo ; Right Through Me;
Ridiculous; The Garden; Burned; Let Go; Justify.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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