Richard Earnshaw – In Time – Review

1 09 2010

Seven years in the making, In Time is a wonderful collection of jazz-funk and soul sure to get the soul fraternity, and dancefloor, all hot and sticky. It’s an album that’ll resonate with lovers of Incognito, George Duke, Jamiroquai, Roy Ayers and The Sunburst Band. It’s also one of the finest UK soul albums of the past few years.

Richard Earnshaw is a producer, writer and classically trained musician (keyboards) who has been active on the dance scene as a DJ, remixer and producer for over 10 years. In Time may be Richard’s first solo album, but it’s undoubtedly the work of a seasoned professional. The production and musicianship is second to none, matched by top notch songwriting that justifiably warrants comparisons with legendary artists such as Masters at Work and Blaze.

Good Love starts the show with a synth heavy boogie groove, featuring an impassioned vocal from Erik Dillard, before giving way to the album’s absolute killer cut, My Door is Open, featuring the UK’s finest, Carleen Anderson. Already featured on the site as a SoulCut of the Week, this track rides a wicked slap-bass punctuated groove, complimented by what may be Carleen’s greatest ever vocal (She absolutely kills it!), rabidly funky horns and a short, but incredibly sweet, piano break. Worthy features that evergreen vocal powerhouse Jocelyn Brown on an emphatic gospel house cut. Green Room is a nice slice of 2010 jazz-funk reminiscent of Herbie Hancock’s jazz-funk forays, complete with some tasty improvised sax and keys solos. Young and Foolish is a Corrine Bailey-Rae song soul geeks may remember from Mark Hill’s (Artful Dodger) The Stix project of a few years back, here delivered in a more neo-soul style.

Waiting features another SoulCut of the Week star, Kenny Thomas, sprinkling his magic over a soulful disco track with Roy Ayers adding a sweet scat/vibe solo. The album rounds off with the wonderful, spacey jazz-funk of the title track, featuring some blistering sax and vibes (courtesy of our old pal Roy Ayers, again).

In Time reminds me of Miguel Migs’ classic album, Colorful You. It marries a dancefloor producer’s aesthetic with a soulful slant to offer an album packed with tight grooves and a surprising depth. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait seven years for a follow-up.

Grab a copy of In Time right HERE. Tell ’em SoulCuts sent ya!


New SoulCut of the Week – Richard Earnshaw featuring Carleen Anderson – My Door is Open

23 08 2010

My Door is Open is the standout cut from Richard Earnshaw’s debut album. It’s a collaboration with Carleen Anderson, owner of one of the most unique voices in contemporary soul music. The tune initially appeared on Carleen’s top-drawer 2005 Dome album, Soul Providence, but this 2010 reworking is on another level. It’s brassy, funky and packed to the rafters with soul, thanks to a truly outstanding vocal performance from Carleen.

I can’t stop playing this tune. It’s been on constant rotation chez SoulCuts for about a month now. Do you have a new favourite song? Of course you do, it’s called My Door is Open by Richard Earnshaw featuring Carleen Anderson!!!!

We’ll have a full review of the album up in a couple of days. In the meantime, just go and buy the album via Groovefinder Records. Tell ’em SoulCuts sent ya! You won’t regret it, I promise!