What The People Say


indigo jam unit feat. Alicia Saldenha
(Basis Records, Sept. 2nd, 2011)

Review by Tokyo Jazz Notes


"The challenge with a covers album is getting it right. A simple carbon copy or a pale imitation will make people wonder why the effort was made in the first place and the project will soon be forgotten. But if an artist can reinvent a track or clearly stamp their own mark on it, giving the song a new lease of life, then it can be a very rewarding experience.

From the first listening, it's quite clear that indigo jam unit and Alicia Saldenha have got it just right. The opening track is an absolutely massive version of Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter that brings the Nina Simone classic right up to date. It's a track that is just perfect for indigo jam unit with it's throbbing bassline and heavy percussion and the performance here is simply jaw-dropping."

"From this powerful opening we then embark on a spiritual journey for an interpretation of Doug Carn's Power and Glory which sees keyboard player Yoshichika Tarue joining the action for the first time on the album with some luscious electric piano, which together with Saldenha's powerful delivery make this track stand out as one of the real high points on the album."

"The version of Vince Andrews The One Who Needs You quite possibly surpasses everything that has gone before it and has to rank as one of the tunes of the year so far. It's just perfect for Alicia's voice and has a really uplifting feel to it as well as being perfect for the jazz dancefloor."

"... one of those albums that is definitely 'all killer no filler'.

Read the full review on Tokyo Jazz Notes here.

Review by

"... when someone recommends the latest, greatest jazz release to me my eyes and ears tend to glaze over. That said, when Rose, from Japanese outfit Indigo Jam Unit, landed in my inbox curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a spin, and I'm certainly glad I did....  All six songs are expertly crafted, and Alicia shows up and shows out especially on a cover of Vince Andrews' "The One Who Needs You." Check out a video of them performing that track below and keep your eyes and ears peeled for the release of Rose in early September."

Read the full review on here.

"Ooh Boy" (Radio Edit)
Written by Alicia Saldenha
Produced by Andrew Felluss & Alicia Saldenha

Review by Alex Henderson

Japanese lyrics aren’t exactly the first thing one associates with soul-minded reggae-pop, but on Alicia Saldenha’s single “Ooh Boy,” a combination of English and Japanese lyrics works enjoyably well for this Caribbean singer (who was born in Trinidad). “Ooh Boy” finds Saldenha fluctuating between English and Japanese lyrics during both the chorus and the verses, and that blend of a soul melody and Japanese lyrics is one of the things that makes “Ooh Boy” (which Saldenha wrote and co-produced) stand out.

Reggae, of course, owes a huge creative debt to American R&B, and “Ooh Boy” is no exception. If one removed the reggae beat from “Ooh Boy” and altered the arrangement a bit, this 2011 single would be straight-up R&B of the sweet soul variety. “Ooh Boy” has a sweetly romantic quality, and Saldenha favors a sweet vocal style that makes this type of song perfect for her. Sometimes, Saldenha’s vocals are a little too nasal, but when she doesn’t sound nasal, her vocals are quite appealing. One thing that Saldenha is good at is hitting the high notes, and when she does that, she can sound a bit like Deniece Williams (a well known R&B singer who was big in the late 1970s and 1980s and enjoyed some major hits back then).

Upon seeing the title “Ooh Boy,” people who know their 1970s R&B might wonder if perhaps this is a cover of Rose Royce’s 1977 hit. But Saldenha’s “Ooh Boy” is definitely a different song, not a cover. However, the two songs do have one thing in common: an unapologetically sentimental outlook, although Rose Royce’s “Ooh Boy” didn’t have any lyrics in Japanese.

According to Saldenha’s publicity bio, the Trinidad native has performed jazz in addition to reggae and soul, but there is no overt jazz influence on “Ooh Boy.” Rather, this tune is obviously aimed at R&B and reggae audiences, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t appeal to fans of both romantic soul-pop and romantic reggae-pop. Again, R&B has been influencing reggae for many years, and Saldenha’s song underscores the reggae/soul connection.

If this single is any indication, it will be interesting to see what Saldenha comes up with in the future.

(Alex Henderson is a veteran journalist who covers political, social, business and financial topics as well as arts and entertainment. His work has appeared in Billboard, Spin, The L.A. Weekly, AlterNet, JazzTimes, Jazziz, XBIZ, Creem, HITS, Black Radio Exclusive (BRE), Skin Two, CD Review, Players, Latin Style, Pulse!, Music Connection, All About Jazz, the R&B Report, Black Beat, Cash Box and a long list of other well known publications.)

What The Fans Say

”Beautiful voice! Beautiful girl! Simply beautiful!” (Round About Jazz Band)

“You sound excellent!” (Jon Hammond - organist)

"You have a sweet innocence about your's really cool!" (Baby Sol - singer-songwriter)

"What an amazing voice! Great work and all the best. Q." (Quasamodo)

About "The One Who Loves You" music video from the CD, "ROSE"

"I thought I'd heard the best already.. I guess I thought wrong. Amazing!" (ixjaguarix - YouTube)

"The one Who Needs You is a great song and your voice reminds me a bit of a young Ella Fitzgerald and with a great band to sing with." (simnebrael - YouTube)

"Lindo, lindo!!! bela música e linda voz!!!!" (ANAMARIANICASANTOS - YouTube)

"o----m----g-----!!!!!! I looooove it, alicia!!!!!!! it's awesome band!!! this is what I love-;)))" (Ayumi - Facebook)

"So Cool! I love it! Alicia, you are gorgeous!! :D" (Xoco - Facebook)

"It's sooooo gooooooooooood!!!! I love it! " (Yuka - Facebook)

Here is a link to Alicia's interview in Japanzine a couple of years ago.

Here is a link to Alicia's Brush TV, Japan interview (in Japanese.)

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