Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact 
Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact
(Self-released)

San Diego, like most cities, has a bit of an incestuous music scene. It's been that way since the early '80s at least, and probably says as much about how small the scene is compared with, say, Brooklyn as it does the collaborative nature of the musicians involved. Just thumb through the liner notes or scan the Bandcamp pages of some of the more recent releases by San Diego bands, and you're bound to see a lot of names crop up again and again.

This is by no means a bad thing, especially when those musicians are really good. And when you find a half-dozen of the city's best players working together on one common project, there's all the more reason to celebrate. Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact is one such project—a soul / funk super-group of sorts and a who's-who of some of the strongest and most productive musicians in San Diego. The septet features members of The Heavy Guilt, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble and The Styletones, among others, and the collective résumé of those involved is impressive, to say the least. But the proof of their abilities is in the music.

Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact's self-titled debut album is a rich and soulful set of songs that echoes the classic sound of Stax Records in the late '60s and '70s but still has one foot planted in present-day neo-soul. It has a charmingly vintage sound in its arrangements, but the songwriting doesn't seem interested in rehashing the past so much as creating something modern that just happens to be immersed in an old-school aesthetic.

A substantial amount of that old-school aesthetic comes from Josh Rice's and Tim Felten's keyboards. The thick Rhodes chords and distorted organ riffs provide a driving force behind tracks like "Stranded" and "Cuts Like a Winter." The major attraction here, arguably, is Rebecca Jade herself, a powerful vocalist with buttery-smooth pipes and an incredible range. She dazzles on every song, but it's in highlights like "City of Sin" where everything comes together incredibly: the dueling organs, drummer Jake Najor's unstoppably funky beats and more groove than most musicians would know what to do with.

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff

Calendar

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