Positive Flow – Can U Feel It?
Can U Feel It?
(Shanachie – 2004)
by Ray Redmond
Can U Feel It? is a very varied experience. On the opening track, The City Streets, vocalist Donna Gardier and the gang attain a positively Incognito-ish state, reminiscent of the early Maysa days. Trumpeter Colin Steele adds some nice horn licks, as he does on the title track which is another Nu-Jazz / Neo-Soul experience. Although Natural has some clever fluting from Gary Barnacle, it is too rooted in “Bass and Drum” house music that it fails to attain true jazz status in my mind.
Spoken word artist Breis appears throughout the CD, most notably on the retro-tinged 50,000 ft and Rising where his emotive words are nicely juxtaposed with Gardier’s airy song. Another spoken word artist, Zena Edwards, is featured on Dance of the Soul. This is my favorite track on the CD and makes up for some of the more shallow-but-catchy tracks on the CD. Jesse Reuben Wilson does a marvelous job here as on all of the rest of the CD, holding up most (if not all) of the instrumentation. Positivity is another track that caught my attention with a good lyric delivery and, well… it just has that feel that makes a good song.
The intent of the CD comes across as a neo-last-poets-without the edge backed by Was Not Was. I like it, but I’ve been known to be shallow on occasion so take it with a grain of salt. Wilson and Gardier have a good formula here and should grow better with each passing release. If you like the whole Incognito, Nu-Jazz, neo-Soul thing (or smooth Jazz) you’ll feel the Positive Flow.