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Just The Two Of Us

Artist: The Thomas Brown Affair

Label: Virtual Media Enterprises

By Felix Mensah | 04 March 2014

For fans of traditional AC orientated jazz which though never out of fashion, seems to be making a mainstream comeback via broadcasting mediums like Beeb R2 and numerous jazz or AC based formats which seem to be popping and sprouting here, there and anywhere.

Firmly belonging to this format is the impressive ‘superduo’ of  jazz pianist Wayne Brown and ‘vanilla soul’ prince and multi-platinum selling ‘90s chart regular Kenny Thomas who make up ‘The Thomas Brown Affair’.

Quickly establishing themselves within the British AC friendly jazz programmers, it is no surprise as this 11 tracked album (all covers) is real, fresh breathing ‘coffee bar’ jazz which not surprisingly is finding itself on modern  jazz or AC radio programmers schedules.

The distinctive and sweet soul vocals of North London’s soul prince combined with the traditional jazz piano of Mr Brown is a true musical matchmaking delight that would truly be appreciated and accepted by serious fans and followers of jazz.

The opener is a laid back, stripped down version of Bobby Russell penned evergreen ‘He Ain’t Heavy’ nicely suited to Thomas’s voice, ‘Georgia On My Mind’ stays very true to Ray Charles’s masterpiece, an interesting ‘scat’ style remake of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Overjoyed’ is also featured.

The much covered Motown chestnut ‘How Sweet It Is’ is done in an upbeat piano/vocal style, also classic tracks originally popularised by the likes of Sir Elton, Billy Joel, Doobie Brothers and Bread are all replicated in the style of Thomas Brown Affair.

The standout tracks however (in my opinion) is the upbeat re-imagining of  Bobby Caldwell’s ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’, a Latin take on the Grover / Bill nugget ‘ Just The Two Of Us’, and the cool as luck laid back version of ‘Arthur’s Theme’ (for anoraks a hit in the early ‘80s for Christopher Cross).

The review outcome regarding this album is that it could possibly find itself ‘troubling’ mainstream sales considering the impressive specialist support and interest that it has slowly but surely gaining.

Another bonus is a chance to hear the voice of Kenny Thomas, who by my own personal opinion should have been a big name in the biggest R&B market on the globe – the USA!...oh yes indeed I feel that America would be possibly a market ready for the musical charms of The Thomas Brown Affair……Yeah BRING IT ON!!


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