All Rights Reserved © 2010 Tempo Valley/Fort Union Entertainment

Memoirs of the TEMPO featuring LadyPaisley & Seph1

Jazz Minds was our spot for about 3 years while promoting this album…Thank you Momma and Danny and all the Jazz Minds girls for taking care of us.  We’ll be back

With his zen purr of a voice and guileless smile, master-of-flow Joseph “Seph 1” Rosales greets the crowd filling the barstools and mod scarlet loungers of Jazz Minds Art & Cafe for his band’s weekly Saturday night gig. Producer and vocalist Eugene “Slo” Carroll works some beats off his beloved Akai MPC 3000 beat machine and phrase sampler. Sitting stoically stage-front, cellist Dianne Rubio coaxes mournful sonics with her bow while the rest of Tempo Valley’s membership provides rhythm.

Vocalist Jennifer “Paisley” Cua drifts on stage, closes her eyes and takes the mike. Her vocals are pretty and dreamy; her lyrics speak of cautious optimism in trying times.

The song is a mellifluous, slightly tropical balled called “Treehouse.” Other compositions — with titles like “Opium,” “Femme Nu,” “Dream Away” and “Not Your ‘Fluffer’ ” — arrive equally hush and shy or more sinister of beat and sound. Sometimes, the songs work both worlds.

And so goes another Saturday night of Honolulu-based music collective Tempo Valley working its atmospheric, otherworldly melange of downtempo hip-hop, jazz, neo-soul, trip-hop, slightly psychedelic world beat and occasional oddball sonics.

Wicked inventive, funky eclectic and trippy original, the music of Tempo Valley showcases a gathering of musicians who have gained a loyal, growing grass-roots following. It’s also a gathering of musicians about to release its first collection of music, “Memoirs of the Tempo” — unfinished versions of which have been passed around enough in the last year to earn Tempo Valley that growing grass-roots following.

“Everything’s all right. Everything’s OK,” sings Cua, on “All Right,” as the jazz minds — mostly folks in their 20s and 30s — sink into their seats and let the music wash over them. It’s the only sound of its kind in Honolulu — think elements of The Roots meets Massive Attack meets Portishead meets Erykah Badu. And it’s a pretty sweet listen.
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