3 BRAVE SOULS -][- Self-Titled –Mp3– [BFM Jazz, 2012 | Review] –
Perhaps equally as important to their friendship, 3 Brave Souls collectively has an unparalleled common denominator. In fact, at various intervals early on they played integral roles and develop their character as musicians by performing with the legendary Miles Davis. Therefore, they unexpectedly became beneficiaries of their tenure with Miles. As a result, these astute alumni essentially qualify to make reoccurring deposits to others and frequent withdrawals from this expansive template of innovative, progressive and creative music rooted in the spirit of love, imagination and passion to play music.
Initially when I placed their “Self-Titled” disc into the CD player, I thought so but I wasn’t ready to plug into the sumptuous potion of distinct, powerful and peerless music created by this superb Trio. The beauty about this collaboration is when you have like-minded voices utilize their resources properly great things can happen. In this case, we have the multifaceted keyboardist and instrumentalist John Beasley from New Orleans paired with his homey Ndugu Chancler proficient drummer-instrumentalist needed yet another essential alias to complete this task. Therefore, bassist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Darryl Jones was the missing link to help accomplish their goal. Now that’s what’s up, this infallible threesome joins forces on their debut on BFM Jazz. Together, they collectively stir up a melting pot of jazz-funk, organic grooves, and soulful sounds resonate feverishly through the walls of these eleven songs is uplifted to greater heights by an extraordinary cast of guest performers.
Out of the box, the trio jump starts the session with the gutsy yet animated funk baptized in a pool of organic, contagious and penetrating grooves embodied in “Black Friday.” As anticipated, this gem groans with tempting flavors, beats and accents of old school jazz and funk rests in the body of homegrown Memphis soul. Next we have the soulful, hip and mesmerizing vocals by Sy Smith, the songstress will simply blow you away with her downhome swagger on “Wanna Get Away?”
Apparently the guys couldn’t get enough of vocalist Sy Smith, so they decided to marry her voice with Dwight Trible on the downhome greasy, easy and back porch Church grooves of “Nothing Left to Say.” At midway point of the album, the gifted Smith is showcased once again with the sexy and vivacious ballad titled “Love’s Graces.”
Actually it’s been years since I’ve had the opportunity to savor the soothing honey dew sounds of southern soul this project embellishes, the lyrically persuasive melody of “Come and Gone” brings back even more sweet memories. The next song features two distinguished and unsung sax giants in their own right Bob Sheppard and Steve Tavaglione. They are featured soloist on the fusion infected “Ayala.” The band cooks rhythmically by gradually blending a pot of mystic brew of off-metered progressions on this progressively funky gem!
Some artists are like fine wine they age proportionally and with maturity they simply get better and mo-better in a matter of time. Case in point, the multi-talented rhythm keeper of the trio Ndugu Chancler sings and raps on the funky and toe-tapping beats of “Nail It Down.”
“Ubiquitous” is up next, this track features Beasley on Hammond and Chancler on the Kalimba solos mirrors the flexible melodies and grooves of the Crusaders meets Earth, Wind & Fire with a heavy flow of tenacious and relentless beats as the centerpiece with danceable disco layered over the top surrounds this baby from beginning to the end!
Bassist Darryl Jones is featured lead vocalist on “Stay,” this Sly Stone influenced tune is engulfed sonically in this Titans groove certainly makes you wanna dance and shout. Finally, the album winds down with the distinctive harmonica solos featuring Grégoire Maret on the gorgeous “N2U” which is lavished with rich and compelling lyricism.
I will say this without hesitation, this album is seriously for old school jazz-funk and soul music aficionados. The consummate voice of this determined Trio serves up a tasty gumbo of raw, funky and soulful music not often expressed in sphere of today’s music. Over the years cats like Beasley, Chancler and Jones honed their creative voices by performing with infinite number of artists and mastered their skills. In return, a plethora of records have been created and recorded by them. At the beginning and end of the day, when it’s all said and done this Trio’s groove is tight, funky and fits perfectly in sync with relevant music while adapting the mythology of old school with their “Self-Titled” debut ultimately delivers a powerhouse performance.
Recommended by Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review
Meet the Musicians:
John Beasley – Rhodes piano, Clavinet, electric piano, Hammond Be, synthesizers
Darryl Jones – bass, vocals, guitar, percussion
Ndugu Chancler – drums, vibes, kalimba, congas, timbales, percussion, vocals/rap
1) Black Friday
2) Wanna Get Away? (feat: Sy Smith)
3) Nothing Left to Say (feat: Sy Smith and Dwight Trible)
4) Come and Gone
5) Ayala (feat: Bob Sheppard and Steve Tavaglione)
6) Nail it Down (feat: Ndugu Chancler)
7) Love’s Grace (feat: Sy Smith)
9) Yabis (feat: Francisco Torres and Leon Mobley)
10) Stay (feat: Darryl Jones)
11) N2U (feat: Grégoire Maret)
[Total Time: 54:44]
3 Brave Souls (John Beasley, Darryl Jones & Ndugu Chancler) – Wanna Get Away? ft. Sy Smith
Produced by Beasley, Chancler and Jones