Most Wanted! Incognito – Jacob’s Ladder (MAW Yorican Mix) (Talkin’ Loud)
Question: What does ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ refer to? The high voltage travelling arc of the name? The 1990 American psychological horror film directed by Adrian Lyne? None of them at the end. No more than to the young adult novel by British author Brian Keaney which saw the light back in 2005. In other words, 10 years after Incognito‘s jam of the likes…
As a matter of fact, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ has most likely much more to do with the connection between the earth and heaven that the biblical Patriarch Jacob dreamed about during his flight from his brother Esau, as described in the Book of Genesis (* Wikipedia)
The ending cut to their ‘100° And Rising’ album, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ is an outstanding Jazz/Funk experimentation. Somehow bringin’ back to the souvenir of Jazz fusion. Blending lush strings and horns. This with stellar keys by the likes of Graham Massey along with infectious percussion courtesy of Max Beesley. Masters At Work recapturing its original spirit although slighly resizin’ it for the dancefloors over a bassline reminding of the one of Michael Jackson‘s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’.
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’. It 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.