Brand New Heavies on the road, release new album

Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:37am EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - U.S. singer N'Dea Davenport returned to the Brand New Heavies not long after a close call with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, ten years after she had left the band at the height of its success.

Brand New Heavies, which originated in Britain and helped pioneer acid jazz in the early 1990s, released a new live album this month and are in the midst of a world tour.

Davenport, one of the four original members, spoke to Reuters after dealing with success, two new albums the band is recording and why she left and rejoined.

Q: The band's music has been popular across the world from Japan to Australia to Europe since the band's debut album in the early 1990s. What's the secret to the wide appeal?

A: "We are multicultural. We are from different countries. We are very diverse in our friendships and our musical tastes and styles, and that represents something of who people are in the world at large and how we are all actually merging so much more together. We just got a little jump on being in this position."

Q: After hits like "Never Stop" and "Dream Come True" on the self-titled first album, the band was labeled as pioneering the acid jazz movement. Do you agree with that?

A. "I do somewhat agree with it. However, I think in the British Isles there is much more of an understanding about what acid jazz at that period of time represented. However, there is still a lot of confusion in the United States about what is acid jazz? ... But we are pretty cool with that title I guess."

Q: What made the band so successful then?   Continued...

<p>The Brand New Heavies (L-R) Simon Bartholomew, Jan Kincaid, N'Dea Davenport and Andrew Levy in an undated photo. REUTERS/Handout</p>