Elizabeth Shepherd

Besides

By Jerry PrattIt’s a good thing soul jazz singer/pianist Elizabeth Shepherd starts off her new disc, Besides, covering Lionel Hampton’s sumptuous "Midnight Sun.” Otherwise, the bossa classic might have been overwhelmed by the abundant remix action on this 12-deep collection of new, unreleased and reshaped tracks. Shepherd’s trio perfect the lush bounce of "Midnight Sun,” with her dulcet tones and buoyant keyboards deftly dancing around bassist Scott Kemp and drummer Craig Kingsmore’s steady rhythms. The hot remixes begin with Eddy Meets Yannah reconstructing "Just Getting By” as ’70s vintage soul propelled by broken beats. "Start To Move” is recast by UK producer Natural Self, who mixes those sick brass lines front and centre, as is Kemp’s fat stand-up bass bump. Also worth noting is "Georges Dilemma,” where ambient electro pop artist Daisuke Tanabe samples and loops Shepherd’s voice into rhythmically quirky break beats. These tracks kick up the most creative vibes but Tru Thoughts producer Nostalgia 77’s rare groove re-cut of the dangerously infectious "Reversed” will certainly move more dance floor ass. Elsewhere, avoid the too well mannered blues of "One Trump Card”; it’s not greasy enough for this set. Thankfully, the rest of Besides swings nicely with a modern soul jazz verve lounge lizards will feel and club kids will step to.
(Do Right!)
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