More than a few weeks ago, I was walking into “Forever Young Records” , a music store near my house and was greeted by a barage of brightly colored promotional fliers that covered the glass of the entry: N’dambi Pink Elephant in stores now (or something like that). I still vibe to her 02 independent release, Tunin up & Co-Signin, but ever since she signed on with the Stax label, at least a couple of years ago, I’ve been in anticipation. There was no way I was leaving the store without Pink Elephant , in hand, even after the guy behind the counter had told me, ” It don’t come out til tuesday (it was on a Friday), all we have is the advance promotional c.d.”
“Well shoot, heck, break yo self then, fool!”, I said. I walked out with “Pink Elephant”.
I’ve been put’n folks on to N’dambi, for years-those outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, that is. You see, N’dambi is the homie and folks ‘roun here know her, if nothing else, as the fine sista that used to sing backup with Erykah (and of course I’m partial to artist that come onto the scene that have spent time behind someone else). Nonetheless, especially around the crib, N’dambi is an artist that hasn’t gotten her just props. I do recal , an instance, however, while I was touring with Kanye in Tokyo a few years ago, while riding through town, our Japanese translator/driver Riyoko pulled out “Tunin Up & Co-Signin” and popped it into the player. Home girl’s grind has allowed her to amass somewhat of an underground following world wide, but with the release of “Pink Elephant”, N’dambi is ready for the mainstream.
If you’re a fan of soul music and soul singers, go pick up “Pink Elephant”. It’s what’s in my player right now and could be my favorite release of the year, definitly in the top five. The project is produced by Leon Sylvers which makes for a nice touch. I noticed that the edges are slightly smoother than some of the previous stuff (but by all means go back and get homegirl’s previous work if you don’t have it). The timber in N’dambi’s voice is more beautiful than ever, I mean sweet like Etta James, and unlike some pop artist whose voices could be rather laborious to listen to in some settings, this is the type of voice you’d want to hear from someone that was giving you a neck and shoulder massage. Um! Sing to me!”Pink Elephant” offers everything I look for in an album. The songs are brilliantly written. The musicianship is impeccable. The melodies are fun and interesting, and are sung over changes that are sometimes unpredictable. The kind of changes that “The World Famous Tony Williams” loves to sing over. Oh yeah, and if anyone sees N’dambi before I do, tell her that “World Famous” is looking for her, I’d love to work with her.