Dexter Wensel

Dexter Wansel and Jean Carne – New Music

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The Sound of Philadelphia gone rogue! New album releases from Dexter Wansel and Jean Carne.

Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records wasn’t always the lush smooth, fluffer-nutter Sound of Philadelphia. On occasion, its charmed and charting brand of soul was laced with jazzy R&B as well as an era-appropriate synth-phonic, spaced-out vibe. Blame Dexter Wansel and his 1976’s “Life on Mars” and 1978’s “Voyager” for the latter, and Jean Carne’s “Happy to Be with You” (1978) and “When I Find You Love” (1979) for the former.

Neither of these Philadelphia artists, keyboardist/synthesizer whiz and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, respectively, played by the rules of the plush, cushiony Sound of Philadelphia back in the PIR label’s heyday of the golden 1970s.

Why then would you expect their newest work to be any different?

Dexter Wansel’s “The Story of The Flight Crew to Mars” album isn’t exactly new. This 2021 album from the artist, arranger, producer and keyboardist slipped through the cracks and just happens to be a natural, FX-filled spaced-out, funky follow-up to his 1976 classic “Life on Mars”. Find it, now, and be fulfilled.

Dexter Wensel Jean Carne

As for Dexter Wansel’s favorite Philly vocal charge, Jean Carne, the singer has her own new, free jazz and R&B album, her first in a minute, titled “JIDO12”. Five octave, high powered vocalist Carne’s new album was recorded, improvisationally, with its Jazz is Dead label bosses, Adrian Younge (who loves Philly, what with his William Hart duo record co-starring the high-pitched leader of The Delfonics) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Qwest fame), and the whole party is alluring and immensely emotional while harkening back to her pre-PIR days singing R&B-laced avant-garde jazz with her now-ex-husband (organist Doug Carn) and Jean’s own backing vocal sessions with Earth, Wind & Fire before Maurice White broke it big.

Dexter Wensel Jean Carne

“JID012” is genius stuff, and needs to be heard at this, the top of summer so as to catch Jean Carne’s cool vocal breezes.

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