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Home Jazz Robin McKelle Robin McKelle & The Flytones ‎– Soul Flower (2012)

Robin McKelle & The Flytones ‎– Soul Flower (2012)

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Robin McKelle & The Flytones ‎– Soul Flower (2012)

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1 	So It Goes 	5:20
2 	Tell You One Thing 	3:59
3 	Nothing’s Really Changed 	3:34
4 	Fairytale Ending 	3:50
5 	Miss You Madly 	5:09
6 	Don’t Give Up 	3:41
7 	Walk On By 	3:13
8 	To Love Somebody	4:06
9 	Change 	3:42
10 	I’m Ready 	4:49
11 	Love’s Work	4:30
12 	I’m A Fool To Want You 	4:50

Arranged By – Ben Stivers, Robin McKelle
Bass – Derek Nievergelt
Drums – Adrian Harpham
Guitar – Al Street
Keyboards – Ben Stivers
Saxophone – Pee Wee Ellis
Tenor Saxophone – Mike Tucker
Trombone – Clayton DeWalt, Fred Wesley
Trumpet – Scott Aruda
Vocals – Gregory Porter (tracks: 11), Lee Fields (tracks: 8), Robin McKelle

 

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? ---C.Michael Bailey, allaboutjazz.com

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