Kate Becker: Soft Revolution (Old Bisbee) 

Kate Becker's band plays some serious funk, but her voice is all about jazz and blues. The combination is beguiling—and it doesn't hurt that Becker's backing band regularly hits the sweet spot, playing R&B rhythms so subtly that it seems almost effortless.

Becker is fully in charge of the proceedings, but credit for Soft Revolution must be shared with Stuart Oliver, who also happens to run Old Bisbee Records. Oliver produced, engineered and mixed the disc, and he contributes guitar, keyboards, mandolin, occasional songwriting and light, high harmonies. Bassist Mike Hieber and drummer Aaron Emery make a nimble rhythm section.

Becker's songwriting invokes a sense of nondenominational spirituality and positive, healing vibrations—she refers to the sacred Tohono O'odham site of Baboquivari Peak, as well as to Eckhart Tolle—and her smoky alto is a warm, intimate companion on the journey. Many of the tunes might be considered new-age, especially the title track and "A New Groove," which refers not so much to a change in music, but in attitude.

Dynamic funky dance grooves on tracks such as "Perfect Storm," "Magik" and "Superstar" dominate the proceedings. But there are notable exceptions, like the restrained folk-pop of "No Wings Are Needed Here," which builds to a charming, fusion-style crescendo; "Honey Child," with its chugging alt-country boogie; and the hypnotic "Roots and Stars," which verges on jazz-raga.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Learning From Lennon

    Nothing personal, Paul McCartney. Bill Frisell started playing John Lennon's music by accident
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Song of the Day: 'Cosmic Love Song No. 23' by Louise Le Hir

The Lantern Fest: Get Your Shine On

Fill Up On Beer, Bands and Brats at 4thtober Fest

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Noise Annoys

    Mute Swan and the Curse of Local Hype
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Honky Tonk Girl

    How this Tucson 19-year-old might trip the country electric
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation