Truly, Masters At Work..
How I Got Into This Music
Television, drug of a nation..
Yeah, saw the video of the Runaway track. Felt good, a bit too retro, but seriously enamoured with the vocals. Kinda stuck in the back of my mind and later on I got the album. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!
The Nuyorican Soul project is the product of the fabulous DJ duo called Masters At Work: Kenny Dope and Little Louie Vega. These guys are incredible producers, musicians and music fanatics.
Tracks that got my attention:
Think about it, how many times can you remember considering a 90 second intro as a full fledged track worth mentioning?
For me, this intro always puts a smile on my face and gets all my aching bones ready for some serious moving and grooving..
I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun
Ultimate Dance Floor Diva Jocelyn Brown giving a wicked performance on this cover. Original by The Rotary Connection (feat. Minnie Ripperton)
This song has become a sort of an Anthem, it’s also been remixed/reworked by Marc Mac on his Chess Cadet All Stars album.
It’s Alright, I Feel It
Taking the piano loop from the previous track, speeding it up, adding some incredible beats and, again, Jocelyn Brown on vocals. This is one of my favorite dance tracks.
Maw Latin Blues
Masters At Work (Maw), these guys are, like I said, music fanatics and with this project they mix all kinds of styles together, including this Latin track with some sweet keyboards and percussion.
Gotta New Life
Not one of my faves, but a great jazzy track with a lovely walking bass, a slightly annoying flute and some sweet vocals.
Spacy stuff, got to be in the right mood to listen to this one.
Habriendo el Dominante
You don’t get any better Latin grooves than this, son! Slow buildup with the percussion and the incredible bass and then we get the piano treating us to some great grooves!
This album introduced me to mister Roy Ayers, Soul Musician Extraordinaire! Doing his scats and playing some sweet vibes.
Let’s go Disco! Great production value: vibes and vocals, again, by Roy Ayers. Some classic bass grooves and those strings.. Oh wow! Heheh..
This singer, India, just blew my mind. This song is so tailor-made for her voice. Great track.
(thanks, Hieronymus Fox!)
Jazzy Jeff’s Theme
Now this track changed my limited opinion about DJ Jazzy Jeff. Forget the silly tracks with the Fresh Prince. This track shows the Talent and Genius: a scratch instrumental with loops, beats and samples that just leave you flabbergasted.
You Can Do It
Closing track; after disco, latin, scratching and 70s soul, we get George Benson. Wait, what?
Yes, boys and girls, the Masters at Work produced a track that revived my interest in George Benson: a very long and moody intro with soft synth soundscapes backing up mister Benson’s guitar picking skills. And man, the guy is skilled! The main song starts after a while with Benson’s powerful voice and well-known scatting.
Like I said, MAW can do it.
Not all of the tracks are brilliant, but man-o-man, not one song on this album is lacking in quality. People have been taking notes from these lessons in Hi-Quality Music Production from professors Dope and Vega for more than ten years now. Masters at Work, indeed!