If you like your west coast contemporary jazz grooves tantalizingly fused with a (blue eyed) old school vibe then you will absolutely love “Keep On” by Swedish collective Soweco that will be released October 2 on the Skytown Records label.
Keyboard player Mattias Roos and drummer Peter Gustafsson formed the band in 2011 and their 2012 project “Don’t Hide Your Love” put down an early marker as to what their music was all about.
This promise was endorsed three years later with the release of the critically acclaimed “Only You” and the recent solo success that Roos has enjoyed with his Skytown Records debut, “Movin’ Up”, has only served to heighten anticipation of what “Keep On” is destined to provide.
Quite simply the album is a shimmering showcase for the sort of music that sits deliciously in that sweet spot somewhere between smooth jazz and soul, an area previously occupied with some style by vocalist Bobby Caldwell. It is all the more remarkable for the fact the decidedly LA feel of “Keep On” was devised and delivered by a group of European musicians now flourishing under the guidance of producer, arranger and contemporary jazz guitar superstar U-Nam.
Take for example the delectable title cut that, remixed by and featuring U-Nam, will be the first single to be offered to radio.
It finds Roos and Gustafsson maintaining a sensational groove throughout while vocals from Frosche Renmarkare top notch.
In fact Renmark’s contribution is phenomenal throughout and none more so than with the incredibly supercharged “Forget for a Moment” that is right up with the very best that “Keep On” has to offer.
Other fabulous examples of what Soweco has routinely going on come in the form of the retro tinged “Let the Rain Fall Down” and the equally appealing “Way Up High”. In this respect they are both in the fine company of the infectious “Good Ol’ Love” and “Don’t Hide Your Love” (a newly recoded version of a song that originally appeared on Soweco’s very first CD) yet it is the easy grooving “Lucky Charm” that will be sure to get the party started.
Elsewhere, as Soweco reveals a more tranquil side to it’s musical persona, “Your Love” allows the tempo to gently ease all the way to the seductively moody “Listen For A Moment” where Frosche Renmark teams with vocalist Petra Carlenarson to astounding effect. She stays around to take the lead with the similarly mellow “By the Sea”, a number that not only enhances the complexion and the texture of the overall collection but also hints at a growing musical maturity, which bodes well for the future.
So, all things considered, if SOul with a distinctly WEst COast attitude is your thing then SOWECO is most certainly the band for you.