GEORGE ANDERSON: Positivity (Label: Secret Records Limited)

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George Anderson is the bass player in Shakatak and ‘Positivity’ is his first full solo album. But hey… if you’re not a fan of bass-led albums don’t switch off! Listening to the album you’d be hard pressed to guess that it’s a bass man’s set. Indeed the predominant instrument on the eleven tracker is the saxophone (real and virtual) but even that is secondary to the superb vocals of Fil Straughan and Debby Bracknell. They take responsibility for nine of the cuts and even on the remaining two instrumentals, though the bass rumbles deliciously in the background it doesn’t overpower proceedings. Indeed the sax-led ‘Herbie’ has a feel of David Sanborn about it (hard to believe that the sax is virtual) while the sax shares lead with a light flute on the looser ‘Moments’. Two decent cuts – but there’s more instant appeal in the vocal tracks. The opener ‘Lay Ur Hands On Me’ is particularly strong. There’s an almost inspirational, gospel feel to it and Fil Straughan comes on like he’s been listening hard and long to Will Downing … and there’s nothing wrong with that. The cut is rivalled as the album’s highlight by the Latin-esque ‘It Ain’t Over’. Debby Bracknell nails the vocal and the beats will delight jazz dancers everywhere. George even allows himself a tiny bass solo – but it’s totally organic to the tune’s feel. ‘What I Gotta Do’ rides another good groove as does the light and bouncy ‘The Wonder Of U’. Both have “summer vibe” stamped all over them. Those of a more romantic inclination will like ‘Beauty Inner Smile’ and ‘Run 2 Me’. The former features some fine Benson-esque guitar from either Alan Wormald or Paul Williams – reinforcing the point that though bass man, Anderson is the leader, ‘Positivity’ is a real team effort and the team have produced a good, varied set that sits perfectly on the cusp of smooth jazz and sweet, sophisticated soul. For more details go to
(BB) 4/5