VISIONARY, INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SUPER-HERO
BLUEY RETURNS WITH SECOND SOLO RECORDING LIFE BETWEEN THE NOTES
Shanachie Entertainment is thrilled to be releasing Life Between The Notes from pioneering and ground-breaking UK groove-master Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick on April 28, 2015. The creative force behind Incognito, the preeminent funk/jazz/soul/dance outfit in the world, Bluey pioneered the ‘acid jazz’ movement and laid down the blueprint for the neo-soul scene to follow. At a time when drum machines and sampling dominated the airwaves, Bluey and Incognito reminded us of the sheer beauty of the human soul and instrumental virtuosity. They scored hits with versions of Stevie Wonder’s “Don't You Worry ‘Bout A Thing” and Ronnie Laws’ “Always There,” selling more than a million records in the process! As a producer, songwriter and musician, Bluey has collaborated with a who’s who list in music including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Leon Ware, George Duke, Phillip Bailey, Steve Gadd, Maxi Priest and countless others.
Now in his third decade of effortlessly churning out mind-blowing and chart-topping hits, vocalist and guitarist Bluey releases his highly anticipated second solo album Life Between The Notes.
Bluey Shares His Inspiration Behind the Music on Life Between The Notes
This second solo album has a Jazz undertow that has taken me in some new directions and may surprise some folks out there. The title and inspiration for much of the writing on this record comes from the fact that all the events in my life outside music has had to compete with huge chunks of my time lost in my world of music. Good or bad, for better for worse, it’s the truth! Being my partner, my friend or my offspring would not have always been easy due to my one-track musical mind. Nowadays there is more balance in my life than ever before, and as the musical journey continues, I find myself using my creative spirit and my fame for the greater good of humanity. With more than 38 years in the music business, travelling the globe living my dream comes a positive retrospective.
So on to the album…From the off “Dance To My Drums” is a celebration of my individuality and a call to the world to find and bring that, which is their own. Where is your rhythm? Play me your beats… Show me your dance!
On “Life Between The Notes,” co-written by my main musical collaborator Richard Bull, I quote my record collection. The songs that have fanned the flame of this long musical journey that seems to be gathering pace when everything around me seems to be slowing down.
I love me a slice of electronic dance and when that time came I could not think of anyone who does it better than Ski Oakenfull. Our song “Hold On” is about the times when I lost my way and the voices of reason that I was fortunate to have around me at various stages of my life. I am looking forward to seeing the dancers groove to this.
A while back I toured with Leon Ware and keyboardist Dan Goldman A.K.A. JD73. I was so taken by his approach, that it was only a question of time before we did something together. “Saints and Sinners” is a perfect blend of our creativity with his chord structures and incredible sounds allowing me tons of space to explore. The song is an attempt to make sense of the lack of empathy that exists worldwide in these trying times! I tapped into that bountiful world of music that I’ve grown with using quotes and musings that sheds light on the way that things should and could be. JD’s piano solo wraps it all up in a way that words cannot say!
“Trippin’ On This Feelin’” is the first track to hint at the percussive jazz direction that will follow as the album proceeds. Trippy electronics run adjacent to the mixture of electric and acoustic pianos from my Incognito partner Matt Cooper creating a sense of other worldly excursion to compliment the intimate encounter portrayed in the lyrics. The subject of love making can be crass when put into song, I hope that we’ve achieved it in a romantic sensual way.
On “I’ve Got A Weakness For Your Love,” I am once again acknowledging how falling in love with someone can
smooth out the edges in a man. Surrender is not always submissive, and at times can lead to a better understanding! I
was supposed to sing this song all in falsetto, but a serious cough put pay to that. But I liked the result so much that I
never went back to the original vibe.
“Tomorrow Never Lies” is a song of hope. My life journeys and the hatred and destruction on our planet urges me to
plant seeds in the minds of our youth, those with their lives still ahead of them and their dreams and aspirations still to
be fulfilled. For them more than ever, tomorrow is everything and we who have a voice and have a choice, must ensure
that we are doing everything possible to ensure that they have a future!
The Jazz adventure continues with more of the Latin overtones that I experienced whilst staying in New York in the mid
90s. Like many of my songs, the lyrics are from a diary that I kept during that period. For “Columbus Avenue,” I just
had to cast my mind back to the sounds, smells and flavours that accompanied my adventures. It’s a depiction of a day
that concludes with one of my summertime shows with Incognito in the big apple. I had met Matt for the first time in
this period as we both signed for Verve Records, so his total understanding and feeling for the music and vibes of the
city helped me to create the perfect soundtrack for the story to be told.
“Caught Up In The Grey” is about that low feeling that can often escalate into depression. When I am on the road, many people share their stories with me and I can sometimes bring hope and clarity to those going through some tough situations by just letting them know that I understand them and that these emotions are not unique to anyone of us. When they realise that I have gone through similar situations they become optimistic and start to feel that there may be light ahead. I am grateful that my music can bring people hope and healing in this way, and I feel very privileged.
Being a guitarist, I don’t often write guitar-based songs with other guitarists. But from the time Incognito’s percussionist Joao introduced me to Francisco Salles and his music, I knew that we would write songs together. “Been There Before” is one of many songs we’ve written in recent months. This experience also gave me an opportunity to play keyboards again, which I enjoyed doing. The song is basically about learning from your mistakes and not being afraid of saying no if you think it’s for the best, even if feelings are hurt at the time.
“More Than Getting By” is, on the other hand, the opposite of the song “Been There Before.” It’s about how sticking with a relationship through thick and thin (If you believe in it) can pay dividends. Seeing your faults and admitting your part in the breakdown and making changes can lead to great and enduring love! This is the only song on the album that I wrote by myself and once again I enjoyed playing the Fender Rhodes piano, which was the first part of the building block in this recording. Drums & percussion came from my Incognito band members Francesco Mendolia and Joao Caetano, lead guitar by Francesco Salles and bass by Robin Mullarky of Zero 7, Bugz In The Attic fame.
Sometimes a song begins it’s life heading in a completely different direction. The music to “The Poetry Of Life,” was initially written by Richard Bull, Matt Cooper and myself for another established artist who will remain anonymous. After waiting several months for the artist to write lyrics and melody and hearing nothing back, I began toying with the track and came up with a song that refers to my life at various stages.
It brought another angle to the proceedings, so I decided to record it for the album. Sometimes it’s good to wait, but you’ve got to know when to move on! My teachers would always refer to me as a dreamer and constantly dismissed my ideas. One even referred to me as living in an enchanted world saying “ You Live In A Fairy Tale, not the real world.” Life has proven my enchanted world to be my reality! I live the dream!
The closing song on the album is “Sunships On The Shores Of Mars,” the deepest adventure I’ve allowed myself to take in the world of Jazz. I believe strongly that the past and the future are intertwined, and that the more we know about our universe and our origins the more we know about ourselves and the better we become at creating the future. Graham Harvey at the piano, Richard Bull on drums, percussion, bass and guitar create the sound of an intimate quartet that allows me to croon like I’ve never crooned before. Now that was fun! This may be the beginning of something new, and one thing’s for sure…
“We are not replicants awaiting. It’s not our time to die”!
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