Britain's Incognito is known the world over for its low-key blend of
sultry smooth jazz dance rhythms and upbeat soul-inspired melodies. As
VOA's Doug Levine tells us, the band's disposition remains sunny as we
hear on their new album Tales From The Beach.
If a song like "Happy People" makes you think of balmy breezes on a lush tropical island, it's no accident. Just ask Incognito founder, producer and guitarist Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, who describes the album as a tribute to his native country Mauritius.
Bluey got his first taste of music from the beaches of Mauritius, a tiny island off the coast of Madagascar. While he was drawn to the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Santana, his favorite pastime was watching local musicians playing surfside.
"I spent a lot of time
listening to the hotel bands, or the bands playing around the bonfires
and cookouts," he says.
For inspiration in the making of Tales From The Beach, Bluey returned to some of his favorite beaches around the world, to, as he puts it, "let the music flow."
Incognito's music has been flowing for almost three decades. Its multi-cultural lineup has undergone various changes over the years, but the group has always delivered a steady output of new releases and world tours.
In fact, touring is almost a necessity. Since early-2007, Incognito has performed in over 25 countries, including a bittersweet concert in Mauritius. It was Bluey's first visit there since moving with his family to London when he was 10 years old.