For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein shares his memories from Incognito’s US debut show in 1993. A throwback can’t be complete without our community, though; chime in at the comments and share your experiences from the night or just tell us about your favorite Incognito memory!
Incognito were a band that was part of the English funk movement of the 1980s alongside bands like Freez and Light of the World. By this time in 1993, Bluey, the leader of Incognito, had garnered a large following in the UK, Europe, and Japan.
In the early 90s the band was signed to Talking Loud, a label on Polygram that Gilles Peterson was then running. Their album at the time of this show was Tribes, Vibes, & Scribes and was released through Verve Forecast in the United States.
Washington DC based Maysa Leak was the vocalist and brought a very smooth R&B sound to Incognito. This sound really helped them gain quite a bit of popularity in the United States, seeing as it was very compatible with the adult urban format on the radio.
For this show, we brought the band out as part of a tour for their US debut. We did two sold out nights at SOBs with two shows a night. Incognito is a funky, tight band. As far as the crowd, you had your jazz-funkers, which is what I call myself, and then you had your adult urban crowd who were a bit older and knew Incognito from the radio. It was a nice mix of folks; some getting down and dancing, others mellowing out and taking in the music. It was just a great show, very fond memories.
And I have to say: Bluey was and still is one of the sweetest guys in the music business. He always stayed very pure and true to the music; Incognito is still going!