Shakatak

Live at Ronnie Scott's Club

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Shakatak are known for their smooth jazz-funk workouts, replete with sophisticated hooks and polished to perfection. It's adult contemporary jazz, and Shakatak are masters of the form. Having such a studio-savvy sound isn't always a good thing when tackling live shows, but this isn't the first time Shakatak have released a live album, the first being 1985's Shakatak Live!, which captured the energy of a young group riding the crest of radio hits and a growing fan base. Live at Ronnie Scott's comes 12 years later, an older and wiser band that is even more savvy in the studio and has a greater reputation at stake. That, perhaps, is why the core quartet is bolstered by an additional trio providing key backing vocals, sax, and percussion, all of which help raise the level of the performance to that of their studio creations. This isn't to dismiss the talents of Shakatak, who are more than capable and confident here as they rip through some of their best-known material, including "Streetwalkin'," "Day by Day" (sadly without Al Jarreau this time), "Nightbirds," and "Easier Said Than Done." It may not have the vibrant bite of their earlier live album, but it's still sure to please fans as they hear how Shakatak have persevered and grown during their career.

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