Niki King & The Elements - It’s All Good (4 stars)

New York-based Scottish jazz vocalist with new band and soul-funk sound

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Niki King & The Elements - It’s All Good

(Soul Route Records)

When Edinburgh jazz vocalist Niki King relocated to New York at the end of last year, it was inevitable that the city would lend its magic to her creative impulses. So, with the backing of her new ten-piece New York band, The Elements – featuring a starry roster of musicians who have worked with Prince, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins and the Skatalites – she set about writing a soul-funk album.

There’s a delightfully badass element to some of the songs on It’s All Good. The electric ‘After Rain’ and opening track ‘Do You Love Me’ recall legendary divas of funk Betty Davis and Marva Whitney, while the standout track, the hauntingly delicate ‘Pieces of My Heart’, wouldn’t sound out of place on a Dionne Warwick record. But this is all King’s work and further proof, if any was needed, that with pipes and songwriting talents such as these, she is the outstanding female Scottish vocalist of our times.

Comments

1. Ringan26 Jul 2011, 11:27pm Report

Niki's formidable talent is wasted on this vacuous stuff. New York production values do not substitute for substance. On the evidence of tonight's disappointing performance at the Queen's Hall, she needs to ditch the dreary backing band, tedious backing singers and synthetic emotion and get back to something real.

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