Championed by BBC 6 Music's Lauren Laverne and Craig Charles, ‘As Hills Go By’ is the exciting new album from UK cross cultural groovers - Grupo X. Having previously been famed for their special blend of Soulful Latin Jazz fusions, ‘As Hills Go By’ marks a change in direction for the band as they delve into their musical roots. The result is a hip-swaying, foot stomping, 9 track long player, oozing with Funk, Soul, Jazz and Grupo X's trademark crowd-pleasing grooves, heavy horns and soulful vocals.
Born out of a song writing sojourn to the beautiful surroundings of the Yorkshire Pennines, 'As Hills Go By' features the stunning vocals of Lisa Millett. The first single release from the album and described as "beautiful" by BBC 6 Music's Lauren Laverne, is the outstanding ‘Waiting All Day’, a slow retro-tinged slice of heartfelt soul, featuring a hammond slaying Northern Soul remix from old pal Johnny Machin on the full release.
This talented band comprises of outstanding singer Lisa Millett (ATFC/ Defected) on vocals, Simon Edwards - bass (Fairground Attraction/ Talk Talk), Jim Le Messurier - drums (Orquesta La Clave/ Tito Allen), Pete Eckford - percussion (Chaz Jankel/ Leroy Hutson), Olly Drew - guitar (Freeloader), Leon Stenning - guitar (Martha and the Vandellas/Reel People), Finn Peters - flute, saxes (Frederick Rzewski /Candi Staton) and band leader Jonny Enright - trombone, piano/keyboards (Gregory Isaacs / Elbow).
Their 2001 debut album on Jonny’s own label Loft Recordings, ‘X-Posure’, was nominated for a Latin Grammy. Grupo X's music gained global radio play and support from taste-making DJs including Gilles Peterson, Snowboy, Spinna, Bobbito and Louie Vega. The band has also had success in Japan with their ‘Brand New Love EP’, featuring the outstanding soulful sista, Lisa Millett, on vocals. Further acclaimed albums ‘Food ‘For Your Latin Soul and ‘Grupo X Remixed’ featured the hit ‘Sunshine’, ‘X-Perience’ and ‘Whatever You Dream’. In 2007, Grupo X’s track ‘Jonny's Bugalu’ featured on the DSW Shoes TV commercial across the USA. Among their fans is Quentin Tarantino who had them booked to play at the after-party to the London premiere of Kill Bill 2.
Grupo X have collaborated with many internationally-renowned artists over the years, including "Mr Bongo" Jack Costanzo at 2003 North Sea Jazz Festival. They have played UK shows with Ubiquity Records' Dave Pike, Bobby Matos and Johnny Blas, as well as performances with Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, NY salsero Jimmy Sabater (Fania Records) and trombonist Jimmy Bosch. In 2009 Grupo X toured the UK with "The King of Latin Soul", Joe Bataan and Stones Throw Records' James Pants, followed by an appearance at the 2010 Vintage Festival with Joe Bataan.
Grupo X's recent live performances have impressed audiences with shows for Craig Charles' Funk and Soul Club, Band on the Wall, Manchester, at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho and Canary Wharf Jazz Festival 2011.
1. Little Bit Better Than That (Le Messurier/ Millett/ Enright/ Edwards)
2. As Hills Go By (Eckford/ Le Messurier/ Enright/ Millett)
3. Make It Alright (Enright/ Millett)
4. Big Town (Enright/ Le Messurier/ Eckford)
5. Won't You Stay? (Millett/ Dawson/ Enright)
6. Waiting All Day (Millett)
7. Share It Out (Enright)
8. Closer To You (Edwards/ Millett/ Enright/ Eckford/ Le Messurier)
9. Reach (Enright/ Millett)
Mixed by Simon Edwards
Produced by Simon Edwards, Jonny Enright and Pete Eckford
"Grupo X deliver soulful intensity and feel-good funky flow across nine tracks of impeccable musicianship and arrangement…..It is epic, rootsy and, with singer Lisa Millett out front, often spine-tingling."
Ben Lovett, Blues and Soul Magazine
"Throughout, vocalist Lisa Millett is exceptional – bringing the right balance of passion and tenderness to everything. She's particularly outstanding on the album's real highlight, the gentle swayer 'Make It Alright'. It's a sweet confection…….It's a delight!"
Bill Buckley, www.soulandfunkandjazz.com
'Waiting All Day', the LP’s lead single, features a dance floor focused rework from Johnny Machin, but it is the original cut that shines brightest as a heartfelt beacon of sincere Yorkshire soul.
Gavin Kendrick, Shook
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