TAKES CENTER STAGE WITH SOLO DEBUT
LEAP OF FAITH
LISTEN to “Got to Let My Feelings Show” from “Leap of Faith Below!!!
Shanachie Entertainment is thrilled to be releasing new music from pioneering and ground-breaking UK groove-master Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick on March 26, 2013. The creative force behind Incognito, the preeminent funk/jazz/soul/dance outfit in the world, Bluey pioneered the ‘acid jazz’ movement and laid down the blueprint for the neo-soul scene to follow. At a time when drum machines and sampling dominated the airwaves, Bluey and Incognito reminded us of the sheer beauty of the human soul and instrumental virtuosity. They scored hits with versions of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” and Ronnie Laws’ “Always There,” selling more than a million records in the process! Bluey reflects, “We have a sound of our own and we are not trying to follow anyone else’s groove! Incognito has never been a band that tries to dazzle with flashiness and technical prowess, we groove to make you move, we shift to uplift and we use captivating melodies to tell our stories.” As a producer, songwriter and musician Bluey, has collaborated with a who’s who list in music including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Leon Ware, George Duke, Phillip Bailey Steve Gadd, Maxi Priest and countless others.
Now in his third decade of effortlessly churning out mind-blowing and chart-topping hits, vocalist and guitarist Bluey steps forward with his first outing as a leader, with the highly anticipated Leap Of Faith. Featuring original compositions, Bluey gives a glimpse into his creative genius with an exhilarating set on Leap Of Faith, demonstrating why his music has continued to stand the test of time. The 56-year old prolific and inspired musician says, “I get sheer joy from making music. I have massive gratitude that I am able to make a living from my labor of love.”
Up Close & Personal With The Multi-Talented Bluey
After all of these years, everyone wants to know why now as the time for Bluey’s solo debut?
I have always felt that my strength was in guiding others and bringing out the best of their artistry. For many singers and musicians being at the forefront is where they feel most comfortable and in control. I, on the other hand, have always felt comfortable leading from the back, as a goalkeeper in my schooldays and as a long distance runner in my teens (encouraging my friends to stay together and wait for the front runners to fade). I have taken that stance in the studio and on stage with my band Incognito. The song “All I Want Is You” from Adventures In Black Sunshine [Bonus Track], was really the first time I was totally happy singing on an Incognito album. Though I have very rarely featured as a lead vocalist in Incognito’s catalogue of 15 studio albums, 2012 was the first time that I have felt a compelling desire to bare my soul in this way. One of my friends described this album as my musical autobiography. I think that comment hits the mark.
What was the creative process and how did it vary from the way you approach an Incognito album?
From the beginning this has been as much a solo album for my co-writer/producer amigo Richard Bull who shares my passion for getting something started, staying focused and seeing it through to its end as quickly as possible.
I am an ideas man and if I run something by the band, it goes through a maze of minds and creative spirits that makes it sound like a band, but on this project, the meeting of two like minded souls with almost Jedi like levels of communication meant less distractions and a quick concise process!
Including the three collaborations with three keyboard legends Matt Cooper, Ski Oakenfull and Simon Grey, it took us under a month to write, record, mix and master the album. Being the featured vocalist, I could tap into influences that may be familiar to folks who know my soul leanings like Shuggie Otis, Boz Scaggs, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Kashif, Don Blackman and Isley Brothers. You will find other vocal influences such as Hall and Oats, Beach Boys, Steve Miller, and Peter Gabriel. On this record I could also draw inspiration from a new generation of music makers such as Peven Everett, Labyrinth, The Beauty Room, Air, Bugge Wesseltoft, St. Germain and Mozez. Incognito has strong 70s and 90s vibes where the band came into its own and forged a trademark sound; but on this album I dared to wander outside of my Incognito compound, you’ll even hear some mid 80s influences. Bet you never thought you’d hear me say that!
The year started in Guadeloupe and Los Angeles and ended in Kenya. Only in this tranquil and carefree space in time, supported by my loved ones, at peace with myself, inspired by my musical collaborators and energized by the rays of the sun, could I have done this. In Incognito, I am surrounded by awesome musicians and singers, I needed to reach a place where I felt my voice had its own space and that my sound was not just a twist on the band’s theme. Once there it was just a matter of jumping in! Thus… Leap Of Faith!”