Bluey – Life Between the Notes

May 9, 2015

Acid jazz pioneer Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick has travelled along many a road, inspired many an emotion and many an artist who reveled in the sounds of Incognito, the group for which the multi-faceted instrumentalist/vocalist/composer/producer has provided leadership Bluey picfor decades. Now embarking on his second solo album Life Between the Notes, Bluey allows us to peek a little deeper into his motivation and his musical psyche. We even get a few different looks and feels with this project.

“The title and inspiration for much of the writing on this record comes from the fact that all the events in my life outside music have had to compete with huge chunks of my time lost in my world of music…Nowadays, there is more balance in my life than ever before, and, as the musical journey continues, I find myself using my creative spirit and my fame for the greater good of humanity.” A great insight into the growth of a very influential music icon.

Let’s talk about the particulars of this new album and the ways it may surprise you with different twists and turns. On this project, you get some of the Incognito spirit, but you get much more of Bluey’s focus on what was influential to him and how that impacted him.

Take, for example, after a super funky lead track “Dance to My Drums,” his nostalgic look back at earlier R&B and gospel icons he has in his treasured collection. Witness how he runs off the names of such luminaries as James Brown, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, and Marvin Gaye and how they are part of the best days of his life as he lives “Life Between the Notes” and on the telling “Saints and Sinners” where he not only mentions Mahalia Jackson, Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott Heron, DeAngelo, Joni Mitchell, Bill Withers, and others but also offers relevant musical quotes on life as seen through the eyes of those icons.

As this is Bluey, you know you’ll get a bite of electronic dance, and it appears in full, wired glimmer on “Hold On.”

There is much more here, so many more statements and glimpses of the interior of this music man. There’s familiarity, there’s newness, there’s light, there’s reflection, and through it all, there’s the one constant – just as there has been for over 3 decades – Bluey – living Life Between the Notes. – Ronald Jackson