Countdown to the ZO! & Sy Smith Show – SoulCuts Vigil

Each and every day this week, we’ll be posting a track by either Sy or ZO! in anticipation of their joint show at London’s Jazz Cafe on Sunday 6th March. Quick, grab your tickets before they sell-out.

ZO!’s Just Visiting Too is one of those EPs that floored me when I discovered it. Although I’ve had a life-long love affair with music, it’s only in the past few years that I’ve really checked the Internet for music. If I hadn’t visited certain sites on the web I would never have discovered this Internet-only release. I still find it astounding that artists put high quality music out there on the Internet without charging for it. Sure beats the days of a flexi-disc on the cover of Hip-Hop Connection!

This track features both ZO! and Sy in full, soulful effect.

Much has been written in the blogosphere about ZO! and Phonte’s 80s pastiche, ZO! & Tigallo Love the 80s. It’s an EP that accurately distills a love for the exceptional pop music of the era while managing to breath new life into classic songs, without turning it into a major embarrassment like that god-awful Phil Collins R&B tribute record, or Q’s latest record. Growing up, I always had a soft-spot for the original Human by the Human League, not knowing that it was a Jam & Lewis production until years later. Admittedly, I was too busy memorising RUN DMC’s Raising Hell and dreaming about those Troops with the medallions.


One of the highlights of ZO!’s recent SunStorm album was the delicious slow jam, Make Love 2 Me. An exquisitely sensual track featuring the spine-tingling vocals of Monica Blaire, this cut could keep going beyond its ten minute running time and I’d still be happy (I’ve got stamina, you see!). This is one of the tracks that I’m most looking forward to hearing at Jazz Cafe this Sunday. While I’m intrigued to find out who will be performing vocals on ZO!’s most celebrated tracks, I’m more excited to catch ZO! at work on the keys and Make Love 2 Me certainly has enough space for some improvisation and an elongated keyboard solo. Delicious!

I’ve been playing this track steadily for the past six months and is still sounds utterly fresh. Sy Smith and Mark de Clive-Lowe bring the Truth on this cut.

Sy has worked with so many different artists throughout her career while managing to retain a sense of identity light years beyond the usual vocalists-for-hire. It will be fascinating to see her solo performance in what promises to be one of the highlights in 2011′s soul calendar.

Quick, grab your tickets before they sell-out.

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