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Friday, Aug 11 2017 | 02:38
Image: 1610945 Agogo Records present the second edition of The Soul Session.

A1. Quantraversa feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow
A2. I Sun Shines Softly feat. Anaj
A3. The Passage feat. Tokunbo
B1. Wish The Beat To Never Stop feat. Omar
B2. Never Let Me Go feat. Fatma Tazegül
B3. Live Your Life feat. Anaj
C1. Kalimba
C2. Steely Dan
C3. Transformation
D1. Got To Go Where To Go feat. Anaj
D2. Samba De Alfama feat. Anaj
D3. Liberation feat. Anaj

Love makes the world go around. “two”, the second album by The Soul Session, is
full of love. Ralph Kiefer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer
from South Germany embarks on a stylistically diverse journey into Soul, Jazz,
Funk and World Music.
Being a highly respected session musician in the jazz as well as the crossover
scene, Kiefer made a serious impact in 2011 with “one”, the first Soul Session
album. “one” was built on a solid backbeat of Soul, Hip Hop and Funk, while “two”
now takes a step further into a spiritual and eclectic dimension. “Quantraversa”
featuring the voice of Las Vegas based neo-soul queen Georgia Anne Muldrow is
the mind- blowing opener of this album, a truly deep and intense rhythmic
statement. Quantraversa is a word which you will not find in any dictionary, but
that is not the point, says Ralph Kiefer. “This album is a journey to the inner self.
The recording process was like meditation. I often started with a loop, or an idea
for a melody. It evolved from there and I simply let it happen. When I involved the
lyricists and vocalists, my drafts sometimes took a completely different paths and
ended in something unexpected and beautifully new.”
“The Passage” is a prime example of Ralph Kiefer’s visionary working style. “I
mainly work with my mobile studio. Nowadays you can virtually record every
instrument in any place you like, you just need a good microphone. Some of my
guest vocalists also recorded their part in their own studio.” This way Tokunbo
Akinro, the voice of Tok Tok Tok, turned “The Passage” into a futuristic, haunting
soul tune. “Live Your Life”, introducing Anaj, works nicely as a kind of theme tune
for “two”. Here you have a lose groove which is tight at the same time, keeps in
control and simultaneously lets it loose. And then there’s “Wish The Beat To
Never Stop”. Ralph Kiefer is especially happy about this track. “I am a fan of Omar
since his first album on Talkin’ Loud, I am very proud that he contributed to my
album.” With his unique UK Soul stylings Omar fits perfectly to the brilliantly
understated and well-informed Soul Session sound.
It’s the two suites which are central to “two”. “Kalimba Suite” kicks off with a
stripped down piano, percussion and Kalimba session. Then “Steely Dan” gives it
away in its title, sounds like it will move straight into “Do It Again”, but then it does
not and turns into a funky Soul Session style instrumental jam. “Transformation” is
the perfect ending for “Kalimba Suite”, sticking with the Rhodes, bringing in more
synthesizers and getting quite cosmic. “Liberation Suite” has Anaj coming in
again. “Got To Go Where To Go” is pure bliss and funky fun. “Samba De Alfana”
is a spiritual and deep Brazilian, irresistible jazz-house dance floor mover. With a
motto like “Liberation for the nation” and a vocoder meeting a Caribbean style
“Funky Nassau” groove you will agree: “Open up your mind!”
“You Are Everything” uses a Horace Silver style piano motif, then adding the
sampled voice of philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti: “His philosophy is very central to
my creative process. In the troubled times we live in I think his message is more
relevant than ever. Without self-knowledge there is no basis for peaceful thought
and action." Fatma Tazegül closes the album in taking “Never Let Me Go” to
another level with her soulful gospel voice. Think of the open mindedness and
global funk and fusion rhythm in the Seventies, but also of the Acid Jazz
movement during the Nineties and you get the picture of what “two” is about love,
peace, being true to yourself and getting involved.

Available from 22.09.2017
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