Baltimore’s Marc Evans has a great soul pedigree. His mother was a professional singer and his father a busy jazz saxophonist. At Morgan State University, Marc started off on his own musical odyssey and for the last 15 years he’s been a mainstay on the American soulful house circuit. His 2004 single – the wonderful Philly-slanted ‘The Way You Love Me’- became an instant classic… and it’s still getting spins in the most discerning of venues. In 2008 he released his first full album – named for that smash – and the LP elevated his profile world-wide, especially in the UK and Europe. ‘Soul Descendant’ is Evans’ second full length project and it features 10 cuts put together in collaboration with some of house music’s biggest names ….Jamie Lewis, Joey Negro, The MuthaFunkaz, Gary Hudgins, Irvin Madden, Stephen Stone, N’Dinga Gaba and DJ Spen amongst them.
As befitting a soulful house brand leader, ‘Soul Descendant’ is heavy on dance classics. ‘My Heart Remembers’, ‘Without You’, ‘Never Give Up’ and ‘A Spiritual Love’ are all potential genre classics… and like Marc’s ‘The Way You Love Me’ I’m confident they’ll find favour too with the modern soul crew. The beats are tight and sophisticated… never in your face, but totally irresistible. The soul fraternity will also delight in the 80s flavoured ‘Communicate’, the crisp ‘Closer’ – that one boasts the sweetest of melodies – and the lovely ‘Supernatural’ – the ever-dependable Joey Negro involved here. THE soul highlight though is a cover of Teddy Pendergrass’ ‘You Can’t Hide From Yourself’. Evans shows real confidence in taking on such a soul icon and he delivers splendidly. Back with the MuthaFunkaz, they craft a dance classic with real cross genre appeal.
As is often the way with dance music, most of the LP’s tunes have been out before –some for a year or two (‘You Can’t Hide From Yourself’ for instance was a single back in 2010) … but many will have missed some of the single releases… so now’s the chance to grab them all afresh and sequenced as they are here you get a set that will energize any room.
Album-wise Marc Evans certainty isn’t prolific – 2 LPs in 5 years! However when he does put one together we’re talking top quality. ‘Soul Descendant’ is a wonderful companion to ‘The Way You Love Me’ and though it might be tagged “soulful house”, the old school soul fraternity would be foolish to ignore it.