Shakatak  -  Under Your Spell


As a group of long standing with a cult following that spans the majority of the world’s countries you would expect members of the group to be living the lifestyles of the rich and famous. So imagine my surprise during a recent interview with founder member of the group ROGER ODELL ( Shak’s Drummer) to learn that he was going to cut the lawn of his house after the interview. 

To those of you reading this who do not happen to live in England then let me tell you this is as about as boring as it gets on a summer’s afternoon on the weekend in the U.K.! The next worse thing is washing the car!

At the end of the day it is probably this normality that has kept the SHAKS together for over 21 years pumping out a cool mix of Latin, jazz and pop.the new album now out on Passion Jazz brings there unique sound into the new millenium with a fresher more contemporary feel which according to Roger is down to the input of his offspring Jamie ‘Jimpsted ‘ Odell. 

Still the album is unmistakably Shakatak as the opening track ‘sunshine’ demonstrates straight ahead Latin influenced cool summer vibe that just has to make you feel good about life in general.. But it is the second part of the album where the album begins to feel more contemporary. 

The track ‘changes ‘ in particular has a real urban feel for those who like things more soulful written by band members Jill and George it makes full use of Jill’s vocal skills with the lyrics easy to understand it oozes class.

All band members contribute to the albums tracks-- something to do with the sharing of royalties apparently.!! Roger’s tracks are easily recognsiable for their rhythmic qualities, particularly ‘night time’ which feels very retro in parts.

The album itself brings back the original production team of the first album-Nigel Wright and Robin Sellers and with guests like Saxophonist Snake Davis it does not get much better than this.

My one slight criticism is that the tracks tend to all stop before the going gets good. I suppose the Shaks know what works for them after all of these years and apart from the fresher sound they are sticking to what they do best - produce fine melodic music with a summery vibe. Mind you it’s ideal for those dark winter nights too!!