TONY MOMRELLE: Message In The Music (Label: ATS Records)

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TONY MOMRELLE: Message In The Music

Tony Momrelle is an UK based soul singer best known for his sterling work with Incognito. Now he’s thrown his solo cap into the ring, but to describe this album as a solo effort isn’t quite right. Yes, Tony’s the lead voice but he shares co-billing with the Austrian based Lungau Big Band – and by big, I really do mean BIG! The massive line up could grace any Cecil B De Mille epic and the resulting music is big, brash and very tasty with Tony’s vocal’s trading any number of licks with the imaginative band arrangements. Nine of the cuts are originals and it’s a measure of Tony’s confidence that the two other tracks are big covers from the catalogues of Marvin and Stevie. Momrelle tackles both ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’ with bite and though they both begin respectfully, they build into new creations. On’ Sunshine’ the flugelhorn of Gerd Rahstorfer adds delightful colour, while on ‘What’s Going On’ the feel’s a lot looser than on most of the covers of the classic – but none the worse for that. Of the original compositions, Tony’s in Stevie mode again for the ultra melodic ‘With You Luv’ , while ‘Treats Me Good’ is a pleasing mid-tempo shuffle. The big attraction here, and indeed throughout, is the live, organic feel that gives the music a real conviction – and isn’t that what real soul’s all about?
(BB) 4/5