• Heart, Soul, Body & Mind

    Heart, Soul, Body & Mind
    The Uptown Band
    Label: Erich Cawalla
    Review Date: June 13, 2014

    Three years ago this month, I received and reviewed the debut album by The Uptown Band entitled, “Waiting For Her”.  In that review, I effused that they “deliver a skillful blend of pop, jazz, R&B and funk.  With they follow up CD, “Heart, Soul, Body & Mind”, I will now add reggae to that still applicable description.

    The band’s new project offers an ear-appealing treasure chest of both original music and covers of some great classics. To that latter point, Uptown delivers an amazing, smooth, fluid version of “That Old Black Magic” that had me slapping the repeat button until it broke (only a slight exaggeration).

    Jennifer Kinder’s sultry yet innocent voice puts a spin on the Whitney Houston classic, “Saving All My Love For You” that is absolutely unforgettable.   If Whitney is listening from up on high, she no doubt has a satisfying grin on her face with how this cover turned out.  Erich Cawalla’s voice on his head-turning treatment of the Maxi Priest hit, “Close To You” is nothing short of phenomenal.

    Even more amazing, in my opinion, are the original compositions offered up by Cawalla and Kinder. My personal favorite is Jennifer’s “I Can Breathe”. The song can be described in one heartfelt and melting, “Wow!” An incredibly close second favorite is the reggae heavy (with a sufficient dose of smooth jazz) tune, “The Good Life”. I would wager a dollar to your donut that this song has the crowd dancing if they weren’t already.

    If you’re not already familiar with The Uptown Band, “Heart, Soul, Body & Mind” will be an excellent introduction to this remarkable band. Once you listen to the disc, you’ll become an instant fan and will want to order “Waiting For Her”, as well.

    Yeah, they’re that good.

  • Waiting For Her

    waitingforherWaiting For Her
    The Uptown Band
    Label: Schoolhouse Productions
    Reviewed: July, 2011

    The Uptown Band is a newlywed husband and wife team consisting of Erich Cawalla and Jenifer Kinder, who deliver a skillful blend of Pop, Jazz, R&B and Funk. How’s that for an eclectic yet tasteful mix?

    From the catchy, earworm inducing opening cut, You Treated Me Good, Uptown commands your attention. Equally as catchy and mood boosting is the instrumental title cut, Waiting For Her. I dare you to listen to this song and try to keep your fingers or feet from tapping time along with the song. I betcha can’t do it.

    In my opinion, one of the most impressive cuts of the album is the bands rendition of the Eddie Holman hit, Hey There Lonely Girl. Erich Cawalla nails those incredibly high falsetto notes in a manner that pays the ultimate tribute to Mr. Holman. It blew me away!

    Jenifer Kinder offers up Way To Good For You with the perfect balance of funk, R&B with a cool jazz vibe thrown in there for good measure. This one, too, is a sure earworm inducing tune that you’ll love repeating in your head all day long.

    Fall Down is another favorite of mine, if not for the dance-provoking melody, then for the sizzling hot guitar work delivered by Chris Swartz. That dude is scary good, I’m tellin’ ya!

    The Uptown Band isn’t your regular, run of the mill band. Vocally and instrumentally, these guys are deadly in their execution of any music they choose to perform. Waiting For Her is an album to have for your listening pleasure in a variety of environments. Also, if you happen to catch these guys “live”, I’m told that they put on a heck of a show.

    Maybe they’ll make it to the Dallas area so I can know for sure. One can certainly hope that they do.