Monday, August 6, 2012

Manner Effect, Abundance

Manner Effect is a band that has come up gigging. Their first album, Abundance (self-released) has a group togetherness and drive-in detail that a group, when everything clicks, develops over time on the bandstand.

That and strong originals, an interesting choice of covers, and talent make this a very good listen.

Sarah Elizabeth Charles is the vocalist. She has a great instrument, pleasing and dead-on, power and tenderness, looseness and preciseness. She uses it to great advantage here. She also has a big hand in many of the originals.

The band is tight and loose in the right ways as well. PJ Roberts plays acoustic and electric basses, and sometimes guitar, and writes some of the original material. Logan Evan Thomas does nicely on the keys and writes and co-writes many of the songs. Caleb Curtis has a modern contemporary sound on winds. Josh Davis is behind everything with good-feel drumming.

The CD album comes with a companion DVD with interesting live footage, band interviews and between-gig hanging, a video and etc. It's a "get to know the band" sort of thing.

There's a hip-hop/rap moment that is short. I did not find it necessary but some folks will no doubt like it. It's a minute out of an interesting song, so you take it or leave it.

This to my mind is the best new jazz-rock-R&B outfit to come along in quite some time. Sarah is a marvel, the songs are excellent and the band is together. The emphasis is on the quasi-Latin fuzoid jazz feel and good new songs. Well and so I think you should hear it. Definitely.