Charismatic and dynamic saxophonist/bandleader Lakecia Benjamin, who has played with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, The Roots and Macy Gray, takes center stage in her own right with the 2012 release of her unconventional soul/funk album, RETOX, on Motéma Music.
While she’s made quite an impact with her impressive sax work on stage and on record, Benjamin opted to take a slightly different tackon RETOX, allowing her talents as a composer and producer to share the spotlight with her funky sax struts. In fact, several of the CD’s 12 tracks don’t even feature sax. “This album is really a fruition of years of songwriting as much as it is a showcase for my sax playing and horn arrangements,” said Benjamin. On songs like “My Love” and “Share” she’s chosen to let the vocals carry the song. “I was more concerned with doing justice to my compositions than putting a sax solo in every song.”
Though her own music is immersed in the vintage sounds of James Brown, Maceo Parker, Sly and the Family Stone and the Meters as well as classic jazz, Benjamin’s soaring, dance floor-friendly grooves take the classic vibe to a whole new level. The constant throughout it all is Benjamin’s summery, sultry alto saxophone, adding something special, on every cut – be it a smoldering late-night ambience, an erudite, forceful jazz intensity or the tight funk multi-horn harmony sections that pepper the proceedings throughout.
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