April 20, 2010

Gabin's Third and Double is pretty swank affair

I just discovered Gabin, a nujazz/soul/funk/electronica outfit from Rome. Seems I'm a bit late to the party since this album, Third and Double, is the their third, and a double CD to book. It's got a definite lounge feel to it, with lots of jazz and soul worked into an easy listening, soft pop style of music. Not the best record I've ever heard, but somewhat surprisingly it's been growing on me. If you like Simply Red, or Burt Bacharach, or The Style Council, or Sade, then you'll probably like some of what Gabin does.

In addition to their regular vocalist, Mia Cooper, for this album the group has enlisted a couple of A-list vocal talents as well: the similar-styled Nadeah Miranda from Nouvelle Vogue, and grunge godfather Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave. It all makes for an interesting mix.

There's "Slow Dancin Dans La Maison" which sounds like it dropped right off a Style Council album circa 1986, and the jazzy, atmospheric, soundtrackish sound of "Keep it Cool". There's a nod to easy listening and Bacharach styled pop with guitars in "The Alchemist", to the very cool, swank, swing of "The Game".

The first disc is more chill, downtempo, and at times poppier than the second disk. That second one has every bit the sound of old-school, swingin', jazz pop standards. Keeping it grounded on both sides are Cooper's vocals, which especially on the second disk are very loungy and evocative of suave ladies of song like Shirley Bassey, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Dinah Washington.

Gabin -- The Game feat. Mia Cooper

Gabin -- Slow Dancin' Dans La Maison feat. Z-Star