If only all days could be like this
Absolutely nothing could go wrong here. Theo Parrish alone would have been enough to make us smile with anticipation. Whatever this guy does, it’s always classy. On this 12″ he does what he does best, focusing on piano and production. On the drums an even bigger legend: Tony Allen. Nigerian percussion genius with Fela Kuti’s Africa 70, godfather of afro beat, polyrhythmic master, highly honored and in-demand session musician.
And the guys don’t just pick anyone to take care of the vocals. Eska Mtungwazi, born in Zimbabwe, at home in London, labeled one of the most important British voices by none other than Gilles Peterson. By her side: Andrew Ashong, who already had a great tune together with Theo Parrish, “Flowers”. He brought his bass guitar along as well.
With this 12″, Theo Parrish started his new label “Wildheart”, explaining that the Sound Signature Label is for the body, Wildheart for everything else. That’s an interesting concept, even if “Day Like This” has such an impact on everything else that the body clearly doesn’t remain unaffected.
“Day Like This”, and we could just keep it super short if we wanted, is an absolutely wonderful piece of Soul music, an instant classic. Beautiful, warm, deeply soulful and touching, with an amount of divine relaxation that leaves us almost speechless.
Every aspect of it is worth being loved. Starting with Tony Allen’s drums that are rolling as smoothly as ever, timeless and ageless and full of bliss. You might say, well of course, it’s Tony, and you might just as well say the same about Eska, well of course she is totally wonderful, it’s Eska. Or Theo, for that matter. He has always liked to keep his productions loose and the quality high, the approach intuitive and the perfection subliminal. This is what modern Soul is capable of.
And don’t think that the B-side is a letdown as a consequence. Not at all. It’s a nicely smooth affair with thick synth pads, and the added class of David Okumu on guitar. On “Feel Loved”, Tony Allen is a little more laid back, takes his time, and it does feel as if the five of them have all the time in the world. Everyobody wants to feel loved, what more can you say, and it can’t hurt to keep repeating this for a few minutes, especially when you do it with as much soul and style as it is done here.
Instead of building the track gradually, it is skillfully deconstructed towards the middle, giving Tony and Theo room to explore and improvise. A lot of space is created, we love being in the middle of this, and you gotta love the smooth and natural way the rhythm is finding its way back into the mix while we are still floating high above the fields of love. Everybody wants to feel love, and we really do.
Release for review:
THEO PARRISH & TONY ALLEN – DAY LIKE THIS / FEEL LOVED – WILDHEART – WHR 001