A Drop
Winston McAnuff & Bazbaz Orchestra
Black Eye
March 30, 2006

Track list
  1. Rastafari Is His Name
  2. Mother Africa
  3. Devil May Roar
  4. Rendez Vous
  5. Sentenced
  6. Sort Me Out
  7. Way Back Home
  8. Some Ltd
  9. Rock Steady
  10. Reggae On Broadway
  11. Common Sense
  12. You Will Make It
  13. Make Me Sweat
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
This is an interesting album from McAnuff -- And quite a surprise too.

It is largely an acoustic affair, and should prove popular with those of you into early 70's soul, sweeping strings compositions and 60's r n' b styles. Think similarities to Bill Withers and the Womack family. Some of it works beautifully, replete with its Stevie Wonder funky keyboard hooks.

"Ras Tafari I Is His Name" is poetic and meditative whilst "Devil May Roar" fuses Otis Redding soul melodies with a Pablo style melodica. If Neville Brothers had a Rockers production style with a pocomania vibe -- it might sound a little like this.

It doesn't all work however -- "Rendez Vous" simply sounds heavy handed and dated with its pub rock shuffle.

But over all, you have to hand it to the man for trying something different, and having the courage to work out new fusions -- Surely preferable to yet another "new roots" record recycling decades old, once revolutionary musical patterns, now turned into cynical, dusty, dull formula.

Lyrically McAnuff's work is moving too, with distinctly personal confessional narratives. Perhaps this is McAnuff's strongest point.

This is one for the Skip McDonald, Ben Harper, Richie Havens and Jeb Loy Nichols followers. One for the jazz, r n b and soul heads amongst you.

Another brave and challenging release from Makasound/Black Eye and it certainly has its moving and commendable moments. Well done to Makasound for working against stagnation, and for once again trying something different, and going off the beaten track.