The Other Man
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His new work 'The Other Man', recorded once again with the help of his trusted team around the producer Christian von Kaphengst, finds Jeff back on the trail of his original soul drive, turning inwards to find space for the essence to come alive. "This album sounds more transparent, straightforward and acoustic", he says. And the album does indeed deliver a sound that is both warm and earthy, a sound that doesn't try to convince with stylized details but with a majestic minimalism that shouldn't be confused with asceticism. Everything happens in exactly the right place, from the Fender Rhodes and Hammond organ touches to the funky sparseness of the guitar, the soulful groove of the rhythm section and the splendid exuberance of the brass – with trombone and trumpet solos played by Jeff himself, by the way. As usual, albeit resounding perceptibly deeper and more expressive than before, it is the voice that takes centre stage.
In the title track, which tells the story of a man who believes he has been betrayed brooding over 'the other man', Cascaro's laconic vocal flawlessly portrays the jealous lover. He reveals wonderful mellow qualities over the entire range of his voice in 'The Girl Who Got Away' and then lets loose in 'Stop!', an honest and timeless lover's confession. 'You' takes a more reflective turn, its light-heartedly relaxed mood reminiscent of Marvin Gaye featuring wonderful multi-layered chorus harmonies. With its rousing a capella intro, Jeff's reverential tribute to Al Green, a six minute version of 'Let's Stay Together', fits the album's mood perfectly and allows his unique style to really come to the fore.
Central to the album is the southern rock groove of “Beale Street”, taking the search for roots into the heart of Memphis, blistering trombone solo included. And finally, paying tribute to jazz greats from Charles Mingus to Ray Brown, with its complex grooves and harmonies, ‘Swing Thing’ even rouses the protagonist to burst into a scat interlude. “I have never distinguished between jazz, soul or blues, I can’t say how much of which there is in my music. I am a musician, full-stop. And my aim is to become more and more mature and discerning in my expression”. With The Other Man“ Jeff Cascaro has achieved this aim without the shadow of a doubt.