The opening Title Track, “Soulchestral Groove”delivers an obvious orchestral connection with a ‘sure-to-make-your head-bop’ groove. Arranged by neo-soul crooner/keyboardist extraordinaire, Frank McComb, this track is sure to grab the listener. Acropolis fans will not be disappointed as “Triumph” and “Scheherazade’s Groove” (Tracks 8 & 9) remenisce the fire-driven violin ‘soul-o’s’ that the violinist is most recognized for. “Little Sunflower” (Track 2) pays homage to late-great artists Freddie Hubbard and Curtis Mayfield, by elegantly joining the late trumpeter‘s “Little Sunflower” melody with the groove of Curtis Mayfield’s “I’m Your Pusherman”. Minnie Riperton’s popular classic, “Loving You” (Track 5) sounds like a natural vehicle for violin. ‘The Lady in Red’ has recorded extensively as featured soloist with a host of notable artists, including Ledisi (Lost & Found),
Stanley Clarke (Vertu/Sony 550, Night School DVD), Hidden Beach’s Unwrapped Volumes 1-5, Wu Tang Clan (Reunited), Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin & Donnie McClurkin (Hopeville DVD).
The music also exposes heart generated emotion through a soulful fiddler whose unique, melissmatic tonal expressions are likened to ‘violin ear candy!’ She improvises through the colours with pizzacato, harmonics, orchestral layers and fire with a ‘funky’ elegance and an exotic attitude. Her violin distinction flows throughout each genre, as Karen’s writer/arranger skills are uniquely tailored to her violin gifts on this easy to listen to CD.
Other standouts participants inlcude Cameroonian bassist, composer and producer, André Manga (Manu DiBango, Josh Groban, Angelique Kidjo) and keyboardist/arranger, Brandon Coleman among the excellent accompaniment.
Enjoy this expression of improvised soul, attitude, culture and passion in Karen Briggs’s newest endeavor.