SOUL MEN…, Nooky Jones: Nooky Jones, Robert Kraft Trio: North Bishop Ave.

No posing or supposing. No screaming or histrionics. Just let the melody do its job, set a groove and trust in your voice. Old School R&B on a blue plate special…

Nooky Jones consists of Cameron Kinghorn/v, Andrew Foreman/b, Kevin Gastonguay/key, Reid Kennedy/dr and a smooth horn section of Ryan Christianson/tb, Scott Agster/tb and Adam Meckler/tp-fh. The result is smooth (in the good sense) and velvety in the only sense R&B/soul. Kinghorm has a sorghum thick and rich voice, and makes it work with the Memphis Horn feel on the relaxed “After One” and “Someone Who.” Gastonguay’s keyboards dim the lights on “Outro” and the fingers snap with sublimity on the relaxed “The Way I See You” and “Sweet Wine.” The key here is the groove, and Kennedy is a master of setting it just right, with a “Poinciana” touch of the cymbals on “Moment In Time” and a hip strut on “Bad Girl.” Gotta see these cats in concert!

Vocalist Robert Kraft has a rich blue-eyed soul of a voice as he teams with Jo Pendley/g-dir and Lindsay Greene/b for a Motown-STAX inspired collection of danceable originals. He gives old school reads to ballads like the Otis Redding inspired “Wonder” and is upbeat on “So Beautiful” with Robb Kidd on drums. David Boyle brings in his humming Hammond B3 for a slinky “Gotta Have You” and with an irresistible backbeat, the leader pleads on “I Want to Show You.” Unpretentious, gritty and visceral, just the way it should always be delivered.

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