Some readers will know the name Cymande (Sah Mahn Day) from their three albums (Cymande, Second Time Round and Promised Heights) released in the early to mid-seventies, whilst others will be aware of some of their tunes (The Message) via samples used by De La Soul, Gang Starr and others.cymande

Formed in London in 1971 Cymande are a band that fuse funk, jazz, African music, reggae and blues and A Simple Act Of Faith represents their first album in four decades, reuniting original band members Patrick Patterson and Steve Scipio (and others) with original producer John Schroeder, to whose Janus (US) and Alaska (UK) labels the band were initially signed.

A simple Act Of Faith has ten new tunes, all recorded in the UK, with original sessions going back to 2011 and is out now on Cherry Red. It’s an interesting record that will appeal to lovers of the broad genre that is funk, but is a more laidback affair and, whilst bass lines and the rhythm section propel the groove, I can’t help feeling it’s missing a little bit of power and punch. Perhaps this is missing the point a bit on my part and this is a bit of a grower of a record that, being a bit different to the norm, takes a bit of getting used to. Cymande offer up a chilled groove for 2015 that is a melting pot of genres, played very well indeed for a band that haven’t recorded together for 40 years but I can’t help feeling that it is a groove trying to appeal to too broad a congregation.

Stuart Smith

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