gedeon luke’s debut ep pays homage to classic soul and r&b. fans of sly stone and curtis mayfield, check out ‘perfect ain’t perfect’. #soundcheck

July 3, 2013

It’s summer, which in Brooklyn means turn your speakers out to the street and turn the classic soul and R&B up loud. The latest artist to add to the canon of soul is AP member Gedeon Luke. Backed by a tight band, and recording live on tape, Gedeon Luke and The People make the kind of vintage soul that had been extinct for far too long, but like the mighty coelacanth is starting to make a triumphant comeback. On his debut EP Perfect Ain’t Perfect, Gedeon Luke pays tribute to and earns a place next to the greats.

The EP is almost relentlessly optimistic. Not exactly celebratory, so much as positive in the belief that things can be good. Smooth bari sax licks slither around and in between joyful soul claps. Gedeon Luke’s voice shows considerable range, from suave and playful on “Soul Child” to delicate on “The Hurting Kind.” Back-up singers follow him in counterpoint and classic call-and-response.

And sure, Gedeon Luke doesn’t stray far from his influences. There’s the Billy Preston-esque psychedelic soul of “Lend Me Your Sunshine,” and the James Brown meets Edwin Starr jam “Standing On Top of the World.” None of these tracks are pushing soul in any kind of new direction, but that’s only a problem if you think there’s already too much good soul on this planet. (There isn’t.) Gedeon’s full length comes out this fall, and like all great soul, you can never have too much of a good thing. Get those speakers out. Turn it up. Love peace and soul.

– Words by Nathan Leigh