Ed Motta-Perpetual Gateways
The Brazilian skills of Ed Motta individually as a talented modern day jazz soul vocalist sees him swimming in the same pool as Gregory Porter, Mario Biondi and Jarrod Lawson. Featuring an A list cast of musicianship from keyboardists Patrice Rushen, Greg Phillinganes, flautist Hubert Laws, and drummer Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smith, the album is top quality. Ed’s voice evokes memories of the late Louie Armstrong and Eddie Jefferson smooth gruffness, with a touch of Al Jarraue’s panache. “Captain’s Refusal” harbours hallmarks of Steely Dan’s jazzy soulfulness leading various elements of cocktail lounge and big band jazz that are evident as the album reaches it’s halfway stage. The truly infectious cuts are “Heritage De Ja Vu”, “The Owner”, “A Towns In Flames” and a killer jazz dance killer “I Remember Julie”. There’s a touch of the old soft shoe shuffle slow jazz treatment on “Forgotten Nickname” and elements of a late 1960’s Dave Mackay and Vicky Hamilton vocal influence on “Overblown Overweight”. There is an appreciated synergy with the break of vocal and instrumentation allowing both elements to flourish on this classy and “Slick” like Ramsey Lewis album.