Incognito Joins Heads Up Label For 'Tales From The Beach'


British neo-soul and acid jazz group Incognito have signed a new recording contract with U.S. label Heads Up International. The group, led by guitarist and producer Bluey Maunick, will release their new CD, Tales From The Beach, on June 24th.

"I'm pleased to be part of a team that will let me do what I do best, and see my music for what it is," said Maunick. "Heads Up is a label that understands the worlds of jazz, soul and R&B, and how they all fit together."

While the Incognito lineup has changed over the years, the new album will once again feature the talents of drummer Richard Bailey, bassist Francis Hylton, keyboardist Matt Cooper, and vocalists Tony Momrelle, Joy Rose and Imaani.

The title of the new CD, Tales From The Beach, is drawn for Maunick's experiences growing up in on the African coastal island of Mauritius.

"When I was a kid, my first taste of music came from the beaches," he says. "I spent a lot of time listening to the hotel bands, or the bands playing around the bonfires and cookouts. It's a small island, so there were beaches everywhere. I was always watching live musicians play. So for inspiration for this album, I went back to various beaches around the world -- in Italy, Indonesia and elsewhere -- and just let the music flow."

Incognito's last CD release was 2006's Bees + Things + Flowers, which featured covers of four of their own past hits as well as versions of tunes by Earth, Wind & Fire, America, Roy Ayers, and others.

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What is Acid Jazz?

Acid jazz (also known as club jazz) is a musical genre that combines elements of soul music, funk, disco, particularly looping beats and modal harmony. It developed over the 1980s and 1990s and could be seen as tacking the sound of jazz-funk onto electronic dance/pop music.

The compositions of groups such as The Brand New Heavies and Incognito often feature chord structures usually associated with Jazz music. The Heavies in particular were known in their early years for beginning their songs as catchy pop and rapidly steering them into jazz territory before "resolving" the composition and thus not losing any pop listeners but successfully "exposing" them to jazz elements in "baby steps".

The acid jazz "movement" is also seen as a "revival" of jazz-funk or jazz fusion or soul jazz by leading DJs such as Norman Jay or Gilles Peterson or Patrick Forge, also known as "rare groove crate diggers".