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Vincent Ingala - Personal Touch

Posted by April Galenzoski on 2018/07/09

It wasn’t that many years ago, or to be more specific,  albums ago, when saxophonist Vincent Ingala emerged as a teenage newcomer on the smooth jazz scene with 2010’s North End Soul. Handpicked by Dave Koz to be an opening act, fans and media sensed the young prodigy from Connecticut could easily be the next big thing.

Fast forward 8 years, and four more albums (including 2016’s vocal driven Christmas release), and here we find the star still rising for the middish-20s musical phenom.

Personal Touch, the latest from Ingala and first on the Shanachie Entertainment label, gives us yet another irresistibly stylish offering of creative originals and splendid re-imaginations. The title song is a tone setter for the 10 song collection, with rich and vibrant sax melodies layered over a sexy rhythmic chill vibe that is highly invigorating.  My Kind Of Day is my kind of song that immediately hits you in the sweet spot with a funky and bouncy rhythm and a mood elevating sax groove that is easily a musical metaphor for warm, sunny days.

Personal Touch is another gleaning example of the Ingala musical diversity not only in sound but in artistry and instrumental dimensionality. Feng Sway is proof of that, as Ignala puts his sax back on the stand, picks up the guitar and goes to town with a fast flowing groove that reminds one of what a Benson guitar and Lorber keyboard might sound like together in musical matrimony. Snap Crackle, Pop  is sheer playfulness and shoulder-moving magic with an all-out funk assault that reminds us that smooth jazz is hip and cool when the right elements come together. Fans of classic 80s’ RnB will marvel at Ingala’s convincing and sultry renditions of Billy Ocean’s Love Zone (with soft vocal chorus accompaniment), and Alexander O’Neal’s If You Were Here Tonight.

Having the pleasure of reviewing all but one of Ingala’s superb projects, I have maintained a deep fascination for an artist who self-composes, self-produces, and self-performs every instrument on his albums and engages those who listen with a style and prowess that is infectious at every turn. Personal Touch is a continuation of that legacy and agenda, which Ingala says is simply all about the music. He adds “ It always has been, and always will be. All I can ask for is that people feel good when listening to my music.”  

All we can ask for is that he never stop doing what he’s doing.

Reviewed by Stu Berketo
On-air host 94.7HD2 & 95.9HD2



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