Friday 30 August 2019

'Music and Minds, Part 1' by The Soul Sound Collective

'Music and Minds' is the debut EP from London-based The Soul Sound Collective - a project that comes with high expectations for followers of the band's understated and sublime style of instrumental soul music.

With two prior single releases under their belt - the lush sax-driven 'Stay A While' (November, 2018) and the celestial nature of the follow-up 'Something Like That' (February, 2019) - The Soul Sound Collective ascend to the next phase with a four-track EP of new and original material further exemplifying their masterful skill.

Comprised of multi-instrumentalist and producer, Craig Sims, along with long-time collaborator and bassist Tim Higgins, 'Music and Minds' also boasts strong contributions throughout from Simon Lee on guitar, Colin Watling on saxophone and Nick Crank on trombone.

The Soul Sound Collective have always openly worn their influences on their sleeve - from the EP's Roy Ayers-tinged 70s jazz-funk opener of 'Slow Burn' to their lush Sade-inspired debut single 'Stay A While'.  It's long been a part of the Collective's charm, to fuse these varying styles into compositions that result in a very distinctive Soul Sound Collective signature.

In fact, strong elements of Roy Ayers's music and style seems to permeate into several of the tracks presented here - 'Keeping On The Up' deftly continues within the 70s jazz-funk vein, and while 'His Guitar' sees guitarist Simon Lee take centre-stage, the momentary inclusion of vibes near the song's conclusion is all that's needed to take the song to a whole other plateau.  The ethereal 'Distance Between' closes the project out leaving you with little doubt as to how good the Collective actually are.

With this instalment being the first of a planned series of releases under the 'Music and Minds' banner, Part 2 is something we look forward to with great excitement.

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