Though they’ve been together since 2016, we first came across ZAIMIE just this May via their jazzy single, ‘Hidden Highs’. We learned that the band was essentially two experienced soul musos – Zaidi Kiggundu and Jamie McShane; hence the name … ZAI…MIE! Simple!
We were told that the boys began collaborating in a series of demo sessions at Jamie’s studio in Scotland where they experimented by fusing Funk, Jazz, and Soul into their own sound – as witnessed on the expansive ‘Hidden Highs’ on which the duo were aided by top notch horn players Ewan Mains, Konrad Wisniewski, and James Steele.
We were also told that ‘Hidden Highs’ was from a “forthcoming” album and said LP, ‘Fortuitous’ is now amongst us and indeed ‘Hidden Highs’ is the set’s big opener and it sets the tune for what’s to come. The ten tracker is mainly instrumental and, given what we’ve just said, the music is, like ‘Hidden Highs’, a contemporary cocktail of Funk, Jazz, and Soul. Throughout, you’ll pick up on all kinds of things that might have influenced the boys – here hear a shading of Donald Byrd, there an echo of Dexter Wansell and was that an echo of the Mizells? On the track ‘Wildfire’, you’d swear it was the Salsoul percussionist leading the charge!
The LP offers three vocals – the aforementioned ‘Hidden Highs’ (not a full on vocal here), ‘I Feel For You’ (no, NOT that one!) and a sweet ‘When I’m With You’ – the album’s most restrained track. This threesome add real variety to what is an impressive debut that’s out now via Splash Blue.