Brother J Be Bop a Nui

Coming from the rough existence of Maori life in New Zealand, Brother J comes out grooving like a Maori Marvin Gaye. Be Bop a Nui is a collection of heartbreaking tracks dripping with tearful soul that speak about the loss, poverty and pain of contemporary Maori life. As a master of many traditional Maori instruments, Brother J’s music brings a floating pacific energy that mixes beautifully with his gentle singing and soulful Hammond melodies and snappy jazz drums. Tracks like "Catch the Sun” come with a roots-y cheeky groove that will make you swear this guy listened to a lot of Ben Harper, while "Awhi I” is a heartfelt ballad for his people in the style of Marvin Gaye. The mix of soulful sounds from organs, melodicas, vibraphones and steel guitars with traditional Maori ambience made with instruments like the pupu harakeke and putatara creates a beautiful collection of neo-Maori soul that speaks volumes. As another example of how urban music is being kept alive in the urban ghettos around the world and not through mainstream media, Brother J’s Be Bop a Nui is a sign that true urban music comes from the heart and by using his music to uplift his people, the record becomes all the more soulful. (Sugarlicks)