N-Groove
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N-Groove

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"Smoothjazz.com Review"

Let me introduce you to a powerful new element in Smooth Jazz… an intriguing and artful blend of jazz, R&B, neo-soul and pop that’s compelling and fresh. N-Groove is a group of outstanding musicians who combine their talents to create a delicious potpourri of audio delectables that are sure to pique your musical palate. Superb musicianship and organic sensibility combine for some memorable listening here. The first radio track, for example, is a sparkling take on Janet Jackson’s “Funny How Time Flies.” From the staccato flugelhorn and soprano sax to the captivating vocal refrain and compelling percussion riffs, this one’s got “Smooth Jazz Hit“ written all over it. The rest of the tracks are inventive originals, written all or in part by N-Groove’s producer and driving force, C.C. Givens. They vary, from the slow and sultry “Sexxy” to the fusion-funk “Dfunkt,” the hip-hop-flavored “Bring It On Let’s Go,” and the ultra cool vocal “You and Me” featuring Monica Ssali. What all these great performances have in common is a variety of textures that only a band with piano, keyboards, guitars, sax, horns (trumpet and flugelhorn), vocalist, and even electric violin can bring to the table. I really like the vibe of this disc. It’s accessible, yet it’s still musically challenging, which makes listening a truly exciting, invigorating experience. N’Groove’s IT’S WHO WE ARE is a collection of strong performances that should cement this group’s place on the top level of Smooth Jazz celebrity. After all, that’s truly who they are! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN - Smoothjazz.com-Scott O'Brien


"Sensual Groove Makers"

January 10, 2008 - N-Groove is a new force in Smooth Jazz that has created
a brand-new and unique sensual groove. Their music reflects the diversity of
their influences, that blend Latin, Caribbean, African sounds to R&B, soul
and contemporary jazz. The core of this Washington-based band consists of
three talented musicians: Cuban-born guitarist Roberto Tyson,
drummer/percussionist Cedric Givens and Senegalese bassist Cheikh
Ndoye.
On their promising debut CD "It's Who We Are", they are surrounded by
amazing guest artists: captivating and soulful vocalist Monica Ssali, great
percussionist Romero Wyatt, world-class percussionist/conga player Gumbi
Ortiz (of the Al DiMeola Band), passionate keyboard performer Benito
Gonzalez, upbeat and poetic sax player Al Williams, great jazz pianist Eli
Staples, gifted Los Angeles flutist Arch Thompson and eventually magic
Gypsy-influenced violinist Matvei Sigalov.
"It's Who We Are" entails 10 stellar tracks highlighting the creation a brandnew
sensual groove.
Page 1 of 2 Review - N-Groove : Smooth Jazz Now Reviews
1/12/2008 http://www.smoothjazznow.com/review_n_groove.htm
It starts with a melodic ballad "You and Me", followed by a smooth and creative
rendition of Janet Jackson's "Funny How Time Flies". Then you will be
administrated "Groove Serum" and a Marcus Miller-influenced track "Bring It
On Let's Go" (with the mature bass playing of Senegalese artist Cheikh
Ndoye). The musical journey continues with my favourite tune of the album "It
Who We Are", with the sultry voice of Monica Ssali and the fantastic Gypsyinfluenced
violin of Matvei Sigalov. "So Sexxy" and "When We Get There" are
two creative soothing tracks with rich musical textures. Later you will be
stunned by groovy "Ooo We Oh Yeah" (with a great introduction by Eli Staples'
piano) and Latin funk "Dfunkt". An instrumental version of the track "This Is
What We Are" closes this hot release.
Sensual groove makers and talented musicians. This is what N-Groove is!
For more information : www.n-groove.com
Review by Akbar Nour - Smooth Jazz Now


"N-Groove - It's Who We Are"

There is something special about being ‘in on’ a musical phenomenon at
about the time it firsts hits the scene. This is certainly the feeling
associated with the mega talented N-Groove and its debut CD ‘It’s Who
We Are’ which, in every respect, is nothing short of sensational. At the
heart of N-Groove is guitarist Roberto Tyson, drummer C.C. Givens and
bassist Cheikh Ndoye who either individually or collectively write eight
of the nine outstanding tracks that encompass ‘It’s Who We Are’.
Throughout they are aided in no small part by a stellar line-up of guest
musicians that include Al Williams (sax), both Benito Gonzales and Eli
Staples on piano, Carl McIntyre with flugelhorn, Matvei Sigalov (electric
violin), Brad Booth (electric piano), Scott Hedges (guitar), Shaun Jurek (guitar), Romero
Wyatt (percussion) and, notably, Monica Ssali on vocals.
‘It’s Who We Are’ is, from beginning to end, a concoction of intelligent
rhythmic pleasures. On the one hand it is epitomized by the jazzy
‘Dfunkt’ where the complex keys of Gonzales really make a mark and, in
other ways, by the mellow Latin groove of ‘You And Me’. Here the vocals
of Ssali are a sophisticated delight and she is also at the core of the
similarly Latin infused ‘Ooo Wee Oh Yeah’. Of the purely instrumental
cuts, ‘When We Get There’ is a studied melodic tour de force and in
‘Bring It On Let’s Go’ the band deliver a street wise chunk of jazz funk
that is entirely ‘in the pocket’. ‘Groove Serum’ might best be described as smooth jazz with
a swagger. Certainly the title says everything about its mellow yet catchy vibe whilst ‘So
Sexxy’, with Al Williams making a considerable contribution on tenor sax and Ssali again
excelling with sensuous vocals, delivers a thoughtful slice of mood music that really is quite
extraordinary.
The first cut to be selected for radio play is the bands amazing re-imagining of the Jimmy
Jam – Terry Lewis composition ‘Funny How Time Flies’ which was a hit for Janet Jackson in
1986. In virtually any other scenario this would be the albums standout track yet even
better is the stunning title tune. With the vocals of Ssali setting the tone, it is illuminated
by superb electric violin from Sigalov and, with the shadow of Incognito everywhere, this
terrific example of acid jazz is later reprised as an equally fine instrumental.
‘It’s Who We Are’ is without doubt one of the contemporary jazz highlights of 2007 and
comes highly recommended. For more go to www.n-groove.com or check out the bands
page at My Space. - Smooth Jazz Therapy


"N-Groove - It's Who We Are"

N-Groove is a new founded group of guitarist Roberto Tyson,
drummer C.C. Givens and bassist Cheikh Ndoye. Their debut album
It's Who We Are (2007) was recorded to create radio friendly groove
oriented jazz music. Their mission is to make music which is
interesting, stimulating and diverse.
Heart and soul of the group is drummer C.C. Gives who defines
himself as "Renaissance Man" and plays several instruments on this
album. All songs on this album are originals, mostly composed by the
group members with the exception of the second tune Funny How
Time Flies. Additional guest musicians are Benito Gonzales (piano),
Monica Ssali (vocals), Al Williams (sax), Carl McIntyre (flugelhorn),
Matvei Sigalov (electric violin), Brad Booth (electric piano), Scott
Hedges (guitar), Shaun Jurek (guitar), Romero Wyatt (percussion) and Eli Staples (piano).
You And Me, the starting ballade showcases what this album stands all about. The wonderful voice of
Monica Ssali supported by professional instrumentalists. Outstanding instrument is Cheik Ndoye's
fretless bass who gives the group its signature sound.
A second time we met Monica on the cover of the popular hit Funny How Time Flies composed by
James Harris III and Terry Lewis Jackson. The song was tailored for Janet Jackson breakthrough
album Control (1986) and is still an R&B classic. Carl McIntyre's contribution on Flugelhorn with a
nice dose of reverb gains the appeal of celestial music.
Groove Serum brings more the nucleus of N-Groove into foreground: Instrumental mastership.
Brilliant on keys Benito Gonzales with a jazzy attitude. Bring It On Let's Go is a testimony for jazz
and Funk. Cheikh Ndoye's bass and C.C. Givens' wah guitar are the bringer of message.
It's Who We Are is one of the highlights of this album. A catchy melody, an infectious rhythm,
fascinating arrangement and a group mesmerizing with a high level of professionalism. The song
reminds me of the group Brand New Heavies. A great surprise is Matvei Sigalov on electric violin.
This is the musical way Matvei should go in the future.
So Sexxy is a smooth ballade featuring doyen Al Williams on soprano sax. Al is known by his work
with Stanley Clarke, Jeff Beck, John Lee, Jerry Brown and Rodney Franklin. I love his performance on
Exodus Quartet's Summer Soulstice.
On When We Get There pianist Eli Staples shows his prowess. Eli garnered some accolades as jazz
pianist in the Washington area. Smooth jazz fans will know about his performance with Maysa Leak.
The intro and some phrases of the following Ooh We Oh Yeah confirmed my impression of an
excellent talent.
What can be a better proof for the brilliance of N-Groove than the fusion-break Dfunkt. Only an
independent group can make such a performance outside the path of radio-like music.
The instrumental version of It's Who We Are clarifies: We witness the birth of a great group. - Smooth-Jazz.de


Discography

Single - Picture a world featuring Jeff Rush (released 11/2010)

CD- It's who we are - Debut Release (considered for grammy nomination in 2008)

CD- Imagination-Nemesisbleu

All releases available at CDBaby, Amazon.com & I-Tunes

All releases received radio airplay.

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Bio

The first incarnation of N-Groove was a band called Nemesisbleu which was founded by band members Cedric Givens and Roberto Tyson. The band had a very successful release entitled “Imagination” featuring tunes penned by Givens and Tyson. When Senegalese bassist Cheikh Ndoye joined the team, the band rebranded itself N-Groove and released their debut CD entitled “It's Who We Are," which garnered Grammy consideration. The release featured pianist extraordinaire Benito Gonzalez and veteran sax man Al Williams III. Individually the members of this group write record and perform with some of the most notable artists on the planet. Kicking the music up a notch, N-Groove's rhythm section is enhanced by the captivating stylings of vocalist Maria Rochelle.

The next CD from N-Groove is due out in 2011 and is full of great new R&B jams. The first single “Picture A World” was recently released favorable reviews.

These guys have an unbelievable chemistry both in studio and on stage. Audiences absolutely love what they do!