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Album Review

After collaborating with the likes of Chaka Khan, spoken word artist Ursula Rucker, and Italian soul singer Mario Biondi on 2010's Transatlantic RPM, British acid jazz pioneers Incognito hand over the vocal reins to a younger crowd for their 15th studio album, Surreal. It's an inspired move showing that, 30 years on from their debut album, bandleader Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick still has his finger on the pulse. While longtime singers Maysa and Vanessa Haynes remain a vital part of the setup, the former kicking off proceedings in style with the bass-driven funk of "The Less You Know," the latter channeling the divas of the Studio 54 era on a cover of Queen Yahna's '70s cult disco classic "Ain't It Time," it's the new recruits who steal the show. German-born vocalist Mo Brandis displays a maturity and soulfulness far beyond his 26 years on the John Legend-esque lead single "Goodbye to Yesterday" and the summery jazz of "Don't Wanna Know," while Ronnie Scott's regular Natalie Williams justifies the Erykah Badu/Jill Scott comparisons on the gorgeously slinky chillout of "Restless as We Are" and the dreamy bossa nova of "The Stars from Here." If they can hang on to this highly talented lineup, then Incognito's future appears to be in very safe hands indeed. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Not Quite "Surreal" But It is Very, Very Good

After more than 30 years, Incognito continues to produce excellent music. Their latest release,"Surreal", is another solid effort blending funk, jazz, and R&B into that unique Incognito "sound" - rich musicianship and warm vocals. While all of the songs are quite good, "The Less You Know", "Above the Night", "Don't Break Me Down", "The Way You Love", and "Thoughtful Fantasies" are particularly strong efforts. I have been a fan of Incognito for a number of years and "Surreal" may not be groundbreaking (or even "Surreal") but it is another very good recording by a group that unfortunately does not receive the acclaim or airplay it deserves (In fact, where is Incognito's "iTunes Essentials"?).

Their Back

Prefect timing with warm weather coming, always nice to have them playing in the back ground when you are just chilling


★ German man from Hamburg 'Mo Brandis' sings for Incognito ★


Genre: Jazz

An acid jazz project with surprisingly deep roots in the 1970s jazz/funk/fusion world, Incognito were originally formed by Jean-Paul Maunick (aka Bluey) and Paul "Tubbs" Williams. Both were leaders of the late-'70s disco-funk group Light of the World, who scored several moderate British hits, including a cover of "I Shot the Sheriff." Just after the release of Light of the World's third LP (Check Us Out), Maunick and Williams shifted the lineup slightly and renamed the conglomeration Incognito. A...
Full Bio
Surreal, Incognito
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Customer Ratings