The Brand New Heavies – Brother Sister (1994)

The Brand New Heavies are an acid jazz and funk group formed in 1985 in Ealing in west London.

The Brand New Heavies began in the 1980s as an instrumental acid jazz group called Brothers International.

The group came up with the Heavies name after signing their first record contract, borrowing from a liner note on a James Brown single declaring the artist “Minister of New Super Heavy Funk”. As The Brand New Heavies they gained a cult following in the London club scene and soon signed to Cooltempo as acid jazz replaced rare groove in clubs. The band issued a debut recording for Eddie Piller‘s Acid Jazz label in 1990 with Jay Ella Ruth as lead singer.

Brother Sister is an album by Brand New Heavies, released in 1994. It spawned several singles, including “Spend Some Time” which spent two weeks at number two on the American dance charts. A cover of Maria Muldaur‘s “Midnight at the Oasis” became popular in the UK, but was not included in the US version of the album.

This album finds the BNH heading back to the groove-driven, horn-splashed, hand-clapping funk of their debut album, with N’Dea Davenport stepping back into her role as diva/lead vocalist. Following the string of distinguished rappers who made BNH‘s sophomore album a brave if not wholly successful attempt to infuse rap with the energy of live instruments, Davenport delivers the consistency that was missing from that effort. Repeated listens show this album to be catchier than it initially seems (as long as one avoids “Fake,” tone of the most irritating songs in a long time), and when the BNH really lock into a groove, as they do on “Keep Together,” the title track, and the instrumental “Snake Hips,” they surely do put the funk back in it.

Brother Sister was lead singer N’Dea Davenport‘s last album with Brand New Heavies before leaving to complete her solo album (which she had put on hold to join the Heavies). She returned to join the band ten years later.

UK/International Release

1. “Have a Good Time” – 3:12
2. “Brother Sister” – 4:46
3. “Dream on Dreamer” – 4:53
4. “Midnight at the Oasis” (UK ONLY) – 4:05
5. “Back to Love” – 4:49
6. “Ten Ton Take” – 3:28
7. “Mind Trips” – 5:47
8. “Spend Some Time” – 4:24
9. “Keep Together” – 4:21
10. “Snake Hips” – 2:04
11. “Fake” – 4:34
12. “People Giving Love” – 5:06
13. “Worlds Keep Spinning” (UK ONLY) – 5:08
14. “Forever” – 5:32
15. “Day Break” – 5:25

The Brand New Heavies

Musicians

  • Maxton G. Beesley, Jr. – keyboards
  • Brady Blade, Jr. – vocals (background), production coordination
  • Mike Boito – keyboards, vocals (background)
  • The Brand New Heavies – percussion, producer, engineer, art direction, mixing
  • Amp Fiddler – keyboards
  • Ray Gaskins – saxophone, vocals (background)
  • John Thirkell – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Gerard Presencer – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Kevin Robinson – trumpet
  • Dennis Rollins – trombone, trombone (Tenor)
  • Eric Sarafin – strings, engineer, mixing
  • Jeff Scantlebury – percussion
  • Mike Smith – flute, saxophone
  • Steve Williamson – saxophone
  • Aaron Zigman – string arrangements

Production

  • Matthew Donaldson – photography
  • Brian Gardner – mastering
  • Chris Jones – engineer
  • John Laker – engineer
  • Michael C. Ross – executive producer, mixing
  • Martin Schmelze – engineer
  • Yo-Yo – engineer

Notes
Released: March 22, 1994
Genre: Acid jazz / funk
Length: 1:07:24

Label – FFRR Records

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s