If, as they say, Blues is the mother, Jazz the teacher and Funk the preacher, can we add Gospel as the spirit, and Soul as the emotion so we can have it all? To put it in even more biblical terms “In the beginning was the Rhythm ..."
At the end of the 50s, Jazz, after the exhaustion from bebop and cool, returned to its origins emerging with the restorative and culturally significant hard-bop and jazz-funk, which was heavily dominated by young black musicians. Gospel, blues, jazz, funk, rhythm & blues, soul and house, appear or are evoked and referenced in this magnificent album which exemplifies the power and universality of black music, a cultural expression that runs from the deepest spirituality to the most visceral.
Gisele Jackson and The Shu Shu’s distil this mixture with an authentic, respectful and exquisite selection of tracks. Jackson is an excellent artist who masters all styles; a privileged voice, perfect technique, charisma and "savoir faire". She started her career very young, and her repertoire is so broad and complete, that defining her as a "house diva" – as some have done - is overly simplistic. She worked with Ray Charles, James Brown and Donna Summer and learned from these "that music is everything". During her young years of musical training, she assimilated all the various styles she was exposed to and therefore has developed such a broad repertoire and a superb eclecticism.
The backing trio, The Shu Shu’s is made up of guitarist Dave Wilkinson, Abel Boquera on Hammond B3 and Caspar StCharles on drums - all three Europeans living in Barcelona. The musicians have their own disciplines and bring their different musical personalities to the Trio. A compact and well assembled group, making music that is balanced and tasteful and based on a powerful groove. It’s in the shuffle, medium tempos and fluid r & b, where they are most 'at home'. We enjoyed Dave's precise ‘compings’ and sharp riffs, Abel's expressive harmonic waves and flowing bass lines, and Caspar's rhythmic control and punch. The intense and concise solos added to the stellar performance of Gisele, generous with her musicians, as all the greats are.
The recording is live from the exceptional concert at L’Auditori de Castelló in May 2021. It’s a powerful and fresh sound, which thanks to the tightness of the performers, introduces touches of a studio recording.
An extraordinary album, with a total of ten formidable songs, some original compositions and some classics, that deserves a prominent place on the shelf of any self-respecting fan.
Preview (30 seconds)
I Put a Spell on You
Clean up Woman
Cornbread, Chicken and Collared Greens (The Shu Shu´s Version)