Classics: Incognito – Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing (Talkin’ Loud)
The strange thing about Incognito is their ability to reappropriate for themselves blasts from the past. And eventually turn them into signature songs. Be it ‘Always There’, but also more recently ‘To Prove My Love’. With Stevie Wonder‘s ‘Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing’ makin’ no exception…
Considering this specific one and the identity of its author, the challenge was far from being granted. But the group made it, scoring one of their biggest successes ever. Wonder initially gave it a Latin feel, eventually adding a bit of Spanglish lyrics. Well, Maunick and Co. kept this feeling while putting forward a Cuban piano driven rhythm line. Their Chicago-esque horn section as usual adding to the whole. This most likely providing the right environment to singer Maysa Leak to do her thing.
Incognito in the driver’s seat… Don’t you worry bout a thing!
– Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Maysa Leak knew early on that she would be a musician. “I was six years old when my mom took me to see Purlie”, she recalls. “When Melba Moore came on stage and sang her heart out, I knew at that moment I wanted to make people feel the way she made me feel.”
Maysa‘s journey took shape while singing upon graduation with Stevie Wonder for a year. She would be a member of his female back up group, Wonderlove. She then eventually performed on the ‘Jungle Fever’ OST in 1991. The year after, she relocated to London where she joined Incognito as their lead singer.
The 1992 released ‘Tribes, Vibes And Scribes’ album marked the start of a long collaboration between the two parties. The lady appearing on numerous Incognito‘s recordings during the 90’s. Beginning with the memorable ‘Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing’.
Renowned for her performances along with Jonathan Butler and Pieces Of A Dream, she did her solo debut in 1995. She celebrated her 20th year as a solo artist in 2015 with the release of ‘Back 2 Love’. The last of her 12 albums to date…
– Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick and Paul ‘Tubbs’ Williams gave birth to Incognito as an offshot from Light Of The World back in 1979. From then, the group has collaborated with la crème de la crème of an ever boiling British groove scene.
Strangely enough, it took them 10 years to deliver the follow-up to their debut-album – ‘Jazz Funk’ – released back in 1981. But their recognition would be instant with the release of ‘Inside Life’. An album which featured the memorable ‘Always There’, ‘Crazy For You’ and ‘Can You Feel Me’. But also marked the start of a long relationship with Gilles Peterson‘s label. The latter eventually bringing Incognito‘s repertoire to new audiences with the help of remixers such as Masters At Work, Roger S and Carl Craig among others. This resulting in the rework of gems such as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, ‘Givin’ It Up’ and ‘Out Of The Storm’.
How to not remember neither of their brilliant participation to the 1994 ‘Stolen moments: Red Hot + Cool’ album issued on GRP? And more precisely of ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’??? One of the best British Jazz/Funk compositions of all time which saw them jamming along with Carleen Anderson and Ramsey Lewis…
Meanwhile, the beginning of the Millenium would mark a turning point for Incognito. The band switching from Talkin’ Loud to Döme Records with the release of their 2002 ‘Who Needs Love’ album. Extra gems following from then. From ‘Morning Sun’, as beautifully edited by Danny Krivit. To ‘Step Aside’ with remixing work courtesy of Dimitri from Paris and DJ Mémé. But also ‘We Got Music’ as remixed by Matt Cooper. This in addition to ‘Freedom To Love’ which eventually got a release on Reel People with Atjazz in charge of the remixing duties. Or their cover version of Ned Doheny‘s ‘To Prove My Love’ to name but a few.
Under his own banner, Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick delivered his debut-album – ‘Leap Of Faith’ – in March 2013. There, he brilliantly made the demonstration of his skills as a singer. Meanwhile as a producer, he has collaborated with artists such as Paul Weller and George Benson. Not to mention Terry Callier and, more recently, Diplomats Of Soul (‘Brighter Tomorrow’ and ‘Sweet Power Your Embrace’). Then Russian singer Olga Makovetskaya.