Powerful Jazzy/Funky Soul : Ledisi

Ledisi Anibade Young is an American recording 
artist, singer-songwriter, record producer, CEO and actress. Her first name means “to bring forth” or “to come here” in Yoruba (ethnic groups in West Africa). Ledisi is known for her jazz influenced vocals.

In 1995, Ledisi formed the group known as Anibade. After unsuccessfully trying to get the group signed to a major label, she formed LeSun Records with Sundra Manning. Along with her group Anibade, Ledisi released an album entitled Take Time. The album gained major airplay from local radio stations.

In 2000, Ledisi released her first album, Soulsinger: The Revival. Ledisi and her group toured in 2001, performing various shows. 

In 2002, Ledisi released her second album, Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue, which was also released independently. 

The album featured the singles "Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue", "Autumn Leaves" & "Sugar/Brown Sugar".

The album won her an award for "Outstanding Jazz Album" at the California
Music Awards. 
During her five year hiatus, Ledisi made appearances on soundtracks.

In 2007, she signed with Verve and released "Blues in the Night" which featured on the tribute album, We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song.

In 2007, Ledisi signed a major record deal with Verve Forecast and released her third album entitled Lost & Found, which sold almost 217,000 copies and earned her two Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist.

In 2009, Ledisi released her fourth album, Ledisi explained the album's title reflected its musical diversity: "The title 'Turn Me Loose' is basically me saying : 'I don't wanna be boxed in! Let me be myself as a performer and singer, because I do EVERYTHING! Not just one particular style!'.

Ledisi toured with R&B/soul singer Kem on his North American INTIMACY Tour.

Ledisi's sixth studio album,  Pieces of Me, was released on June 14, 2011. Ledisi has performed at the White House 3 times at the behest of President and First Lady Obama.

Special appearance on : Trombone Shorty – For True 


Collective Acid-Jazz : Live Tropical Fish - The Day Is Too Short To Be Selfish

Live Tropical Fish comprise of Fabrizio ‘Doc Bix’ Poli, Antonio ‘Lurpak’ Fernè and Salvatore ‘Salvo’ Pignanelli. They originate from the northern Italian city of Bologna where they were formed in 1992 out of their love for black music and a desire to experiment working in and amongst many different styles and sounds.

Their first album titled Shape Your Life  featured the saxophonist and leader of the Groove Collective, Jay Rodriguez and their music has since appeared on countless world-wide acid-jazz, funk and soul compilations.

In 2003, after a period of inactivity, the band reformed with several new members and has recently completed work on their sophomore project: The Day Is Too Short To Be Selfish :) Released on LTF Records on 1st April, 2010, it’s a 12 track journey that was recorded between Bologna, New York and London, expressing a love for all things Afro, Latin, Funk, Jazz and R&B.

Every track on the album tells a story and reflects the different personalities of the composers and their musical background. A number of special guests from the world of contemporary soul music feature and include: Omar, Deborah Jordan, Laurnea, Alison Crockett, Nick Rolfe, April Hill and Maya Azucena.

The full line-up of musicians appearing on the album include Doc Bix (percussion), Lurpak (bass) Salvo (guitar) and other accomplished musicians such as Pino De Fazio (piano and keyboards), Mirco Zagnoli (drums), Adriano Pancaldi (saxophone and horns arangements), Federico Tassani (trombone) Fabio Morgera, a trumpet player well known as a member of the Groove Collective, Stefano Serafini, trumpet player with Mario Biondi and Daniele Giardina, trumpet player with Fiorello’s Orchestra.

The band has many years experience of playing live both in Italy and abroad and have opened for concerts by Earth, Wind and Fire in 1998 in Switzerland, for Chuck Berry and Willy DeVille at the Pistoia Blues festival in 2005, and have performed at the Blue Note Club in Milan in the same year.

Live Tropical Fish have been the resident band during 2009 at the highly popular “Bravo Caffe” in Bologna, one of the leading clubs for live music. Here they’ve performed monthly with a number of different international and national guests who also feature on the new album .


Delightful Soul Rarity : Sandra Nkaké - A New Shore - Mansaadi


The main reason for opening my iTunes account was...for her, Sandra Nkaké, impossible to find…You know in the other ways & couldn't wait. So that was my 1st purchase, 3 years ago…

Sandra Nkaké is stunning from the first notes, she gives you an uppercut :) You are breathless the first time you listen to her and see this young woman, specially thanks to her incredible voice and her fire temperament on stage.. From a French-Cameroonian culture, she's totally comfortable with both French and English & mix Jazz, Soul and R&B. Her diversity goes beyond language, she is also adroit in handling diverse styles.

One second, the Jazz or the Funk influences are evident, and then the Opera and European folk elements surface, and without hesitation, all of that may be chucked aside as Sandra Nkaké employs the sounds and languages of West Africa, with talent and incomparable imagination!
And you should have some to assure the 1st part of Al Jarreau's show, alone on stage, using a simple machine recording live the rhythmic and her melodies.

As an evidence, her resumption of Georges Brassens song ' La Mauvaise Réputation' on her 1st album MANSAADI (little mother) dedicate to her mother, who died before having seen her daughter on scene. Her mother used to listened to BB King while she was pregnant. Years later, when Sandra was carrying her own child, she heard BB King and inexplicably was emotionally overwhelmed and started crying.

Her debut at 35, in today's youth-oriented music industry, is a delightful rarity. What Sandra Nkaké has...is taste. She is gimmick-free, in that she doesn't rely too much on just one technique. Murmuring voice, throat deployed shouts, whisper words : her universe as a singer, performer and actress seems to be endless. Association of generosity, sensuality and talent, Sandra is a musical UFO!

Soul diva, of-the-wall rocker and song-writer : she slams, protests and invents a universe which she does not have cease to reinvent, to explore, as to recall us that 'the life is a gift'.
It's your turn to discover this prodigious artist, you can't compare her to anybody… Sandra is Unique!

An useful link: A Tribute To Gil Scott Heron - A Place For You




Harmonic Hip-Hop : Tumi And The Volume - Reality Check - Pick A Dream

In honor of all South African singers, I pick up this group to commemorate 1990, the official end of apartheid and my daughter birth "Léa".

With a sound shaped by urban South Africa and honed during incandescent live performances, the Johannesburg quartet Tumi And The Volume have quickly forged an identity as rising stars of new African music.

They have released three albums in six years, yet Pick A Dream feels like their first proper studio album. Following At The Bassline, recorded in concert, and TATV, which also had a ‘live’ feel, they have developed a precise sleek sound, pulling in a wide range of atmospheres. 
With this new offering, the group have really opened up their music to embrace the world.


Styling themselves as headless men, their quest for identity takes them into hypnotic waves of strings and percussion ("La Tête Savante"), where butterflies gently break bad news ("Through The Sunroof"), things are tough, frustrations many, and life spools along as in a film ("Moving Picture Frames") and where rebellion meshes with hope ("Play Nice").

It’s Hip Hop – as on killer track "Asinamali" and the explosive "Reality Check" – with added dimensions.

There’s a South African flavor throughout, especially on "Limpopo", but the message is universal and delivered in stunning poetic force by master MC Tumi Molekane.

The album contains a few surprises too with Danyel Waro guesting on vocals and kayamb.

This new project extends beyond music - they asked Hippolyte, a young French artist living in La Réunion, to supply the artwork. The result is a great album cover and a little graphic story inside the booklet which tells a mythological tale about the group’s beginnings. 

It’s a beautiful piece of work, and one which you can’t download.

With Pick A Dream, TATV take their place as the most powerful African voices for the new generation. Turn up the volume!