TEA has just finished producing the new album by keyboard legend Brian Auger, titled Language of the Heart....
A few months ago I received through the magic of E mail, the latest album from a duo who call themselves TEA. Mixing soul, house and jazz with African flavors, Tea is the brainchild of guitarist Franck Balloffet, from Lyon, France, and Southern California drummer/keyboardist Phil Bunch. Franck & Phil first met as members of Los Angeles’ premier African band, Bateke Beat, which featured multi-instrumentalist Fidel Bateke, formerly of Fela Kuti’s ensemble from Nigeria. The group's second record, Dreams, rises to the challenge of fusing lots of different influences while maintaining a distinct personality all its own. The entire record is so lovely and soulful that it is almost balearic at times, (Legendary keyboardist Brian Auger even guests on the album!). I must say that I find the project's overt melodicism quite refreshing in these days of distorted drums, acid synths and massive, squelchy bass (not that there's anything wrong with that- but sometimes a guy needs a little melody in his global fusions) The duo have generously allowed us to share a track with you today, so if you like what you hear, be sure to explore further.
“TEA offers a bracing brew of boss nouveau, French and Afro-pop, refreshing as a sweet summer evening breeze washing over lovers in moonlight. It’s the perfect party music for the 21st hipoisie.” -- Roger Steffens, “The Beat”
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