Ivan Neville Scrape

Fans of the Neville’s legacy of N’awlins R&B don’t need to make much of a jump to enjoy the next generation of Nevillisation. Ivan is a chip off the old block, albeit a more urban version. A member of Keith Richard’s Xpensive Winos, Ivan adds his funky keyboard and vocals to his third (actually, a re-release of a "lost” second album) solo album creating a hard soul groove, underlined with plenty of funk and roll and the requisite list of guests (George Duke, Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Bobby Womack, Robben Ford) that guarantee a party atmosphere. The title track — a tribute to the Meters (his uncle’s other keynote band), injects swampy funk into the energetic, earthy soul that defined the Meters’ sound, a bold forerunner to hip-hop. A bit of a self-imposed soul man, the younger Neville delivers the album’s creative zenith in "Ghetto Street” which openly samples Gaye’s "Mercy, Mercy Me” while crafting it into his own powerful composition with a hip-hop slant. There’s soft soul music here like the beautiful "Before It’s Gone,” which displays his knack for deft arrangements as it underlines his impressive vocal range, assisted by uncle Aaron. "Ode to 5AM” visits Curtis Mayfield turf with strong, street-smart social commentary concerning addiction, having exited at the lighted end of the tunnel, himself. This is a solid release that well deserves it second outing — as it reassures the continuity of the spirited Neville tradition. (Compendia)