Title: Ukrainian Doll
Location: New Zealand
Individually the members of New Zealand’s GroovExpress have a trainload of history. Collectively the band has been together since 2010 when composer, arranger and producer Mykeljon formed the group.
We were fortunate to discover the band via our Northside Radio colleague, Paul Mac (Phase Radio Monday’s 4-7pm) and since obtaining this CD, it has remained one of our playlist favourites .
Ukrainian Doll delivers something new with every listen.
Jazz grooves laced with organic soul and fueled with raw funk, the album offers artful hooks that get caught in your memory grooves.
Organ, sax, harmonica, keys, bass and guitar blend with groove-laden drums and percussion providing pleasurable moments and evoking general bonhomie.
First up the title track Ukranian Doll sports a delightful dual tracking of harmonica & sax along with well-placed organ, guitar and sax solos; Mi Bella Paola lays down everything necessary for a good groove; I Say Praise eases into the smooth jazz arena claiming attention with wistful harmonica, then a quirky piece No Way Home is followed by my favourite Foxy Brown which lifts the pace with its bright & breezy melody; Tell Me Why eases back the tempo, while High Heels strolls the mellow vibe. Pretty Little Thing has a distinctly blues bent, yet E Type Blues has a decidedly funky feel. The final and only vocal track, You Are My Fantasy builds from an acoustic guitar solo with Latin inspired percussion into a syncopated groove that would make anyone’s hips move.
Your invitation awaits to take a trip on the GroovExpress!
Album Personnel (recording)
Mykeljon – guitar, vocals, composer, arranger and producer
‘Haggis’ Maguiness – diatonic and chromatic harmonicas
Ernest Semu – organ, keys & synths
Isaac Sanchez – drums/percussion
Robert Kyle – tenor sax
Bruce Kerr – bass