Vincent Ingala - North End Soul

Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole�s Secret Garden, the page that offers a personal perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. Under any circumstances the CD North End Soul from the multi talented Vincent Ingala would be considered as an outstanding piece of work. However, given that at the time of its release Vincent was only seventeen years old, this classy collection can truly be regarded as little short of remarkable. The album derives its title from the North End of Waterbury, CT where many of Vincent�s family members grew up listening to the funk, R & B and soul of the day. With North End Soul he has embraced these old school sensibilities in a way that belies his years and in so doing conjures up what can only be described as a complete gem.

The mood of the entire piece is summed up by the opening �Vintage Vibe� for which the title says it all. Here, Ingala�s cool playing is reminiscent of Euge Groove at his very best and elsewhere he uses the sultrily compelling �Night Flight� to further demonstrate the penchant he has for infectious �radio-ready� contemporary jazz. Later, when Ingala switches to keys for the sumptuously �in the pocket� �Free To Groove�, he delivers what might arguably be the albums best track yet amongst this, and five other of his own original compositions, are also three exceptionally crafted covers.

The first of these is a delightfully fresh interpretation of that Junior Walker staple �What Does It Take� where, between snippets of his own vocals, Vincent blows up a considerable storm on sax. His take on The Moments much overlooked but nevertheless wonderful classic �Look At Me (I�m In Love)� is every bit as good and a personal favourite is Ingala�s stunning version of the MFSB blockbuster �K-Jee�. Although retaining the brassy swagger of the original, Vincent skilfully bestows the tune with a fabulous drum and bass induced club vibe that is right on the money

Ingala notches down the tempo for the chill influenced �Lost In You� whilst it is the sax driven �It Is What It Is� that proves to be a slice text book smooth jazz at its finest. More of the amazing same comes in the form of �Midnight Pass� and, with Vincent playing all instruments and producing throughout, North End Soul is indeed a superb showcase for his burgeoning talents.

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