MP3 Cracked Ice - Soul Noir
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12 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Soul, BLUES: Soul-Blues
Cracked Ice is a NYC-based, 7-member, retro-nuevo soul band, named after a stomping Earl Bostic jukebox hit from waaaay back in the day. Saxophonist Crispin Cioe formed the group early in the millennium to perform regularly at blue-light bars, posh soirees, last-minute rent parties, swank affaires, blind pigs, elegant occasions, and dirt-floor dives.
Crispin based his original music for Cracked Ice on the classic male-female soul duet paradigm, a la Marvin & Tammi, Ike & Tina, Inez & Charlie Foxx, Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford, and others in that deeply funky groove-space. The band's rootsy update of this beloved duet style features two extraordinarily impassioned singers: Brent Carter and Susan D., who sound both authentic and fresh on songs that explore the time-honored themes of love lost and love that's been found. They're supported by a super-tight rhythm section that's steeped in the Memphis/Detroit/Muscle Shoals connection, and this is a band that comes to the music with some serious pedigree happening.
Born in Detroit and growing up in the Motown era, Crispin started playing his saxes in rock, blues and soul bands in high school and college, eventually moving to New York to become a studio/touring soloist and co-founder of the Uptown Horns. He has toured/recorded with legends like Solomon Burke ("Soul Alive" LP), the Rolling Stones (Steel Wheels Tour/"Livewire" LP/IMAX film), James Brown (sax solo on "Living in America"), Howard Tate (Grammy-nominated, Jerry Ragovoy-produced "Rediscovered" LP), Wilson Pickett (horns/arrangements on Grammy-nominated "It's Harder Now"), J. Geils Band, Albert Collins, Shemekia Copeland, and many more.
Brent Carter recorded and sang lead vocals live for 5 years with the mighty Tower of Power ("Souled Out" and "Soul Vaccination - Live" LPs), starting in '95, and has sung backups for greats like BB King, BeBe & CeCe Winans, and Regina Belle. Susan D. sang backup vocals and sizzled onstage for several years with soul deity Wilson Pickett, and has worked with NY rockers like David Byrne and John Cale.
Keyboard wizard Charlie Giordano is a renowned sideman/sessioneer (he was a featured soloist on Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions" 2006 LP/tour), and has toured/recorded with a huge range of artists, including Sam Moore, Odetta, Joe Cocker, Hall & Oates, and Pat Benatar. Guitarist John Putnam is a NYC session ace who is equally famed for his burning live fretwork with yet another diverse range of artists that includes Shemekia Copeland, Madonna, Cher, Jimmy Cliff, and Southside Johnny. Bassist Ivan Bodley grew up in Tennessee and lived in New Orleans before moving to NYC, and is a virtual encyclopedia of fat bass, having performed/tracked with soul royals that include Sam Moore, Earl King, Ann Peebles, Solomon Burke, Harry Connick Jr., Percy Sledge, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Chi-Lites, and Martha Reeves. Drummer Robin Gould is an exceptionally solid sender, with a diverse background in jazz/blues/pop recording and touring spheres (extensive sideman work with GE Smith, Michael Franks, Ben E. King, Carly Simon, Steve Khan).
We've heard a lot in the media lately about a soul music comeback--in the work of newer artists like Corinne Bailey Rae, John Mayer, James Hunter, Mofro, Amy Winehouse and John Legend; with the resurgence of veterans like Bettye Lavette and Solomon Burke; and now, with the emergence of new band that's way inside the deep soul groove: Cracked Ice.
"Soul Noir", the debut album from Cracked Ice, explores these soul roots with a modern slant, from the earthy ballad duet "Let's Talk It Over" (Her: "The whole town's talkin', 'bout how you've been carryin' on..."/Him: "But they don't know nuthin', 'cept to say I'm doin' wrong...") to the Sam & Dave-ish shuffle "That's My Story". Brent and Susan also sing leads on several tunes: he rips up the Albert King-style, Stax/Volt-inflected "New Shade of Blue", while Susan does beautiful, rough justice to the album's lone outside cover song, the Candi Staton underground classic, "Sweet Feeling". What all these songs share is the basic soul music emotion which, like classic country & western, is all about the joys and pains of everyday life and everyday people--wrapped around the power and glory of gospel, blues, and R&B musical roots.
"Soul Noir" sounds at once authentic and new, like an album of classics never heard before, and Cracked Ice is definitely a band to hear now.....
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