Incognito Interview: Bluey Maunick/Surreal – 19 April 2012

Greeting ‘Cog fans. I’ve had the extreme pleasure of talking with Bluey about the current release Surreal, the tour so far, and especially about the band Incognito. It was truly a blast to interview the leader of my favorite band since they hit the scene. I caught up with Bluey at his home late one Thursday night and he was gracious enough to grant the interview at the time. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks for talking with me, brotha, as well as extending thanks to Donna Mercer of Elements Of Jazz for recommending that I do the interview, his beautiful wife Takami for setting it up, and Incognito’s publicist, Rob, for providing me with pre-interview material.

  • Incognito Official Website
  • Incognito Official Facebook Page
  • Incognito Official Twitter Page
  • Incognito Official YouTube Page
  • ::: oceans of rhythm :::


    Incognito f/Maysa (with The Robert Glasper Experiment) – 3 April 2012, at The Warner Theater, Washington DC

    Greetings all. I hope this post finds you well. I haven’t posted about a concert since my last one, Jeff Lorber Fusion at The Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis in March 2011. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen Incognito live. As a matter of fact, it was 10 years ago (I think) during the No Time Like The Future Tour at this same venue.

    I purchased my ticket in Dec 2011 and good seats were already going fast so I’m very glad I got seats five rows back from the stage. The crowd, always mature, is filling the theater and the time is 8:02pm. The Robert Glasper Experiment is the opening act, whose current CD. “Black Radio” is blowin’ up the jazz and R&B charts. The Robert Glasper Experiment, for this event, is Robert Glasper, keys; Mark McCollough, drums; Derek Hosge, bass; and Casey Benjamin. vocoder and sax. There’s an excellent cover story article on The Robert Glasper Trio in the April 2012 edition of Downbeat Magazine. Being a musician I’m surveying the stage equiopment…baby grand, Motif 8, and the guitarist’s dream amp, the legendary Roland JC-120, some of which may be for Incognito’s use. Robert played both the grand piano and Motif 8, utilizing its stellar Fender Rhodes patch.

    They did an excellent set from their latest CD. Every member of the group is EXTREMELY talented. Mark McCoilough substituted for Chris Dave, the drummer on the CD (some of you may remember him from Mint Condition). Derrick played a chorded and quite elegant, but soulful bass solo of the Stevie Wonder tune “Overjoyed” (I believe). Robert’s engaging of the crowd went over very well, as evidenced from the feedback from the ladies. They closed the set with their sonically awesome version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” I am now an official Robert Glasper Experiment fan.

    I regret not going up during the intermission to get that RGE CD purchased and signed, but I stayed put and watched the stage crew get it ready for Incognito. I was five rows back front and center, as a result of purchasing these tickets four months in advance. The interesting thing is I just happened to go on Incognito’s website one night and saw announcements about the tour. They’ve been to the Capitol Jazz Fest since I last saw them in 2002, but as popular as the CJF is, I’m not really a fan of seeing music on the lawn or picnic area because I prefer the comfort of a theater type setting (you know I view the performance from more than an entertainment aspect :-)) Deborah Bond, DC area vocalist (and a very good one at that) was the emcee for the event. She really engaged well with the audience and I would encourage you to check out not just her latest CD but the ones prior.

    The stage crew continued getting things ready for the main act. I spied Matt Cooper’s keyboard rig, two red Nord Stages and a Roland JP 8000. I noted Bluey’s guitar rig included what looked like a white Strat (just iile mine…ha) and I knew he’d would be playing his Atelier Z (a version of Fender’s famous Telecaster) which he says is… ““Simply the best guitar I have ever played!” . I can’t speak to the drum and percussion gear, nor the horns that the excellent brass section used, but it was very nice to see that Francis Hylton held down the bass duties, using that classic blue Fender Jazz 5 string bass he’s often seen with.

    ‘Cog played The Ram’s Head Tavern, in Annapolis MD, the night before. The Ram’s Head is an intimate jazz club that serves dinner and is obviously a much smaller venue. The audience, for all intents and purposes, is up close to the artist, but the sound system is excellent from ever seat in the house. Seeing many concerts at The Warner in the past assured me that the sound would be on point for tonight’s concert. As the stage crew appeared to be thinning and people started to return to their seats, Deborah Bond assumed her emcee duties and the excitement began to mount.

    Incognito came to the stage and the electricity surely got kicked up a few notches. They wasted no time in getting musically busy! Interestingly enough after the second tune, they DID experience minor sound issues with the Mo Brandis’ vocal monitor and Matt’s keys…to the point where Bluey litterally made an announcement to that effect. Fortunately, from my vantage point anyway, those issues really weren’t noticeable That being said, here is the set list:

    1. Roots f/Vanessa Haynes
    2. As (Steve Wonder) f/Mo Brandis
    3. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head f/Natalie Sullivan
    4. Step into my life f/Maysa
    5. Change f/Maysa
    6. Colibri f/Maysa
    7. Goodbye to Yesterday f/Mo Brandis
    8. Above The Night f/Natalie Sullivan
    9. Ain’t It Time f/Vanessa Haynes
    10. The Leds You Know f/Maysa
    11. Still a Friend of Mine f/Maysa and Mo
    12. Blueys Story
    13. Expresso Maduwria f/the band
    14. Percussion explosion f/Francisco and Joao
    15. Everyday f/Vanessa
    16. Deep Waters f/Maysa (with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” interlude)

    Every track above was on fire, even in the smoothest sense. Two of the highlights of the concert was a percussion and drum breakdown which brought the crowd to it’s feet. The other was one of Bluey’s famous stories on how he got into music at the early age of five, knowing then he wanted to form a band and tour the world…a dream he is constantly living.

    Cog closed the concert with one of their flagship songs, Deep Waters featuring the diva Maysa. She paid tribute to Whitney Houston by inserting a very nice rendition of “I Will Always Love You”, intricately woven into Deep Waters….excellent.

    After introducing the band, with members ranging from Ireland to Trinidad to Swaziland to Jamaica to England to Brazil, I’ve dubbed Incognito as “The International Groove Alliance”. Bluey always articulates and leaves the audience with messages of pure positivity, global positivity that is much needed in this day and age. This concert was well worth the wait.

    Incognito Official Website
    The Robert Glasper Experiment Official Website

    Oceans of rhythm….


    Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack- 29 Aug 10 (Exodus of Summer)

    Haigis Beach. Cape Cod, MA. Photo credit: Fresh!

    Welcome Listeners…

    Always glad to have you tune in to The Sunday Soundtrack. I just got back from a VERY relaxing week in Cape Cod, MA. Pretty much slept until 11am at the earliest everyday and didn’t even realize how much I really needed it. It was a necessary chilled out time for sure.

    Here we are at the end of August and the summer has FLOWN by. I’ll be sad to see it go but the time away has made it memorable. Today’s tracks are handpicked from a bunch of favorites and I hope they prove enjoyable. Last week I featured a track from Bebel Gilberto and this week I bring you her sister, Astrud. Anything that the Gilberto family releases always proves to be a good fit for The Sunday Soundtrack.

    Incognito (my favorite group of all time) has released their latest CD “Transtlantic RPM” in June. I highly suggest you pick that up. While I’m not featuring any tracks from that release, I bring you two great tracks which have a vibe that fits this podcast, “I Can See The Future”, and the laid back, well known favorite to many, “After The Fall” (I’d like to see my band cover the latter track).

    As always, I love to feature tracks by Afterlife, the definitive flow for all things chill out, this week it’s Cry (Sunset Dream Mix), from The Mix EP. Jeff Lorber brings us “Tuva”, a track created and inspired by the ancient art of “throat singing (listen to the intro) from the natives of Tuva, a land Jeff once visited. One of my favorite tracks in this edition is Aquanote’s (Gabriel Rene) “Nowhere (Pearl Speakeasy Remix)”. This track, compared to the original, is my definition of what a true remix is, and in addition, I really love how the elements of the track come together. You can here three other remixes of it here .

    I trust you’ll enjoy all the tracks on the playlist, so without further adieu:

    1 – I Can See The Future-Incognito/No Time Like The Future [Bonus Track] Amazon
    2 – Nowhere (Pearl Speakeasy Remix) – Aquanote/Nude Dimensions, Volume 3 Discogs
    3 – Alive (Instrumental) – J-Boogie’s Dubtronic Science/Mushroom Jazz 6 Om Records
    4 – Cry (Sunset Dream Mix) – Afterlife/The Mix EP Discogs
    5 – After The Fall – Incognito/100 Degrees And Rising Amazon
    6 – L.O.V.E. And You & I (Dr. Ghe Mix) – Jazzanova/Jazzanova Remixed [Disc 1] Amazon
    7 – Aquarian Angel- Blue Six/Aquarian Angel Amazon
    8 – Certain Sadness – Astrud Gilberto/A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness Amazon
    9 – Handsome – Bathysphere/Bathysphere’s Daylight Shrubbery EP Official Site
    10 – Tuva – Jeff Lorber/West Side Stories Official Site

    As always, thanks for tuning in. It’s been a gorgeous, but busy day 1 back from vacation. My apologies for getting this out later than sooner. Kudos to my entire podcasting crew and you, the listeners. Enjoy.

    ::: oceans of rhythm :::


    Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 12 July 08

    Photo Credit: Sandy Betts

    Good day listeners….welcome to another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. It’s a gorgeous day out (which lets u know I am actually doing this Sunday afternoon…ha!) In any event, I will definitely be partaking of some of this sunshine. I hope things are well were u are!

    I’ve got a good mix of tracks for this edition, presented in my usual “rush hour” mix – uptempo (leaving work) to a slow pace (winding down at home). On tap is some Incognito, Blue Six, ORG Lounge, Keston and Westdal, and the like,

    Kudos to my many listeners, especially those on Twitter, who continue to provide me with links and visuals to help my present this podcast in a unique way. Shout outs to my Facebook group members as well. Thanks for listening…Kristoff…much thanks for feeding my global goodness for the podcast. That being said, I present to u the playlist for 12 Jul 09:

    I Can See The Future – Incognito/No Time Like The Future [Bonus Track]
    Sanctuary – MJ Cole/Sincere
    Reel Life (Evolution II) – The Cinematic Orchestra/Man With a Movie Camera
    Good Morning London – Kaya Project/Elixir
    Aquarian Angel – Blue Six/Aquarian Angel
    Onikoroshi – Keston and Westdal/Super Structure Baby
    Musikkvennen – ORG Lounge/Has It Come to This
    Nobody Knows Me -Aya/Strange Flower
    Florent 2 A.M – Blank & Jones/Relax Edition 3 (Sun) – EP
    Right Is Right [Full Version] – Paradiso/Paradise II Paranoia

    Another weekend come and gone. I enjoyed it, spent some time at the pool, working on some personal tracks in studio, advancing work on our CD project, etc. I hope that your weekend was as enjoyable, and that your work week is even better.

    If you’re on Twitter and Facebopk, please feel free to follow The Sunday Soundtrack there as well. The links are in my blogroll….over there ——->

    Keep it chilled…