The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, November 23, 2012, Music

Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys

Say Yes

Akina Adderley comes from a distinguished musical pedigree, but she's not a powerhouse vocalist. The great niece of jazz giant Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, she and her ninepiece Playboys meddle in a mix of throwback and modern soul, but the bandleader's overmatched on uptempo tunes, straining for out-of-reach notes on funky opener "Get Outta My Way." Despite fronting an R&B band with designs on filling dance floors, the local singer remains better suited to the ballad, but those too are hit and miss. "Not Mine" swings Sade soul over a cool, muted line from guest trumpeter Ephraim Owens, while "Good for a Minute" offers straight-up schmaltz. "Easy on Me" goes big before it's sabotaged by New Age sax. And there's the rub: The Playboys aim for vintage cool, but often miss the mark. Saving best for last, Adderley weaves a smoky vocal through the bobbing notes of upright bass on closer "Take It Back." Shake it like a tambourine? There aren't many reasons to Say Yes.


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