Review: La Familia Torelli- Beyond Organic :

From the opening horn lick on “Work Song” You know your in for a treat of some classic Jamaican sounds. The songs on Beyond Organic don’t come from Studio One or Treasure Isle though, They come from Catalonia, Spain courtesy of La Familia Torelli. The band’s album is one of the newest release from the Redstar 73 label and it is a fine release indeed.

La Familia does a great job of nailing down the traditional Jamaican sound from the rim shots on the drums to the punches of the horns. While keeping in the traditional sound they effortlessly blend in sounds of Jazz and American Soul music. “Fat Back” is a perfect example of a ska number that feels Jamaican, yet features a Saxaphone solo that harkens to King Curtis.

“Gitanitos Y Morenos” is a ska number with a Spanish flavor that makes you just want to shake your hips. The band that stretches out covering the Funky Philly soul tune “Am I Black Enough For You” and Billy Paul would be proud as the band does justice to the song.

The album also features some other great covers that the band keeps the traditional feel yet add in there own flavor. Most notably is the Justin Hinds tune “Over The River”. They also do Jenny Taylor’s “Come Lay Some Lovin’ On Me” that has an hypnotic organ melody and funky bass line. They also take on the Lord Tanamo tune “I’m In The Mood For Love” and they give it a Jazzy almost lounge style while keeping in the Ska rhythm.

This album is solid through and through and if definitely worth picking up. The musicianship is stellar. The singer has a unique style and does a good job making the songs his own. Since many of the songs are covers, the title of the album is appropriately titled Beyond Organic as they take these classic tunes from the Ska and Soul genres and organically transform them to make their own. This is one album that should be a staple in your collection this summer.

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