Tuesday, June 14, 2016

COLOUR CLUB-Colour Club (1994)


Showing off my true colours as usual, the music chameleon in me has decided that some nice smooth jazz is now in order. The ensemble that called itself COLOUR CLUB, however, was more than just smooth jazz; hip-hop, soul and a splash of funk completed their strikingly colorful, eclectic sound, as evidenced by the dazzling array of tunes showcased on their 1994 debut album. After they've welcomed you into their world of fine grooves on the two-and-a-half minute introductory instrumental piece and the snippet of music that follows thereafter on "Scene I", it's a concept journey taking hold of your audio senses with the tandem of "Freedom Words" and "The Great Issue: Freedom Words Part II", which features sound bites by the late revolutionary Civil Rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King. It's when you've reached the "Consumption" part of this journey where the real colors of this ensemble start to glow; I myself can remain 'consumed' by this beauty of a smooth jazz piece all night long. Among my favorite destinations inside COLOUR CLUB's world is "On And On", a very seductive easy-listening slow groove featuring the lead vocals of acapella group TAKE 6's David Thomas on lead vocals. So often on these albums do I hear a terrific instrumental arrangement that turns out to be an abbreviated adventure, wishing it could've been a complete song. "Scene III", with its one-and-a-half minutes of upbeat jazzy swing and festive nighttime vibrance (the piano accompaniment is simply superb!), is one that sorely missed out on being the full-out track that it needed to be! "Howbotsumtinlikdis": it's the CLUB's creative, stylistic way of saying 'how about something like this?'. A fitting title, because there's some serious jazzing up, funking up and rapping it up happening here—a cool combination for those of us that like a lot of different textures laid out in our music. Kinda brings to mind "Rebirth Of Slick", a favorite song of mine from the 90's by the hip-hop group DIGABLE PLANETS, especially with the slick flow of rap lyrics. One that' ll totally put you into that laid-back evening drive mood and put a magical touch on your night is "Chicago". I can get completely lost inside of this one, imagining myself caught up in the bustling nightlife of the great Windy City. Must have something to do with the smooth souulicious vocals of guest singer Rahsaan Patterson and the lovely sway of the music. Out of all of the conceptual cuts, "State Of Mind" is the one that speaks the loudest. To love, you must forget and leave the past behind: these are the warming and encouraging words that are presented as true and everlasting advice, the sunny melody of the saxophone adding to the song's uplifting aura. I must issue a 'Slow Jam Of The Night' alert for the romantically enticing "Don't Wait Too Long". Rahsaan Patterson's message to the lady is simple: don't take too much time before you say that you'll be mine forever. Respectfully concluding the colorful journey is the "Colour Club Revue", a jazzy reprise of all of the previous tracks and the nuances that made each of those tracks unique—from the man announcing 'here's something for the younger set' to that signature spoken 'I know you're gonna dig this' that's been used in a lot of house jams from the 90's to the wild, synthesized screams wailing in sync with the beat. Now that I've extended this exclusive invitation to become a part of the COLOUR CLUB, I hope that you will join and enjoy your membership:

1. Welcome To The Colour Club
2. Scene I
3. Freedom Words
4. The Great Issue: Freedom Words Part II
5. Trust In Me
6. Consumption
7. Scene II
8. On And On
9. Scene III
10. Chicago
11. The Cultures Of Jazz
12. Scene IV
13. Howbotsumtinlikdis
14. Scene V
15. State Of Mind
16. Don't Wait Too Long
17. Colour Club Revue

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