Born in Jamaica and raised in Toronto, Jarvis Church arrives at this, his solo debut, with a rather impressive rÉsumÉ.
Born in Jamaica and raised in Toronto, Jarvis Church arrives at this, his solo debut, with a rather impressive résumé. He co-founded the six-piece, acid-jazz-hued Philosopher Kings in the early '90s. After three albums and much global success, Church decided it was time to try something new. So, he and Kings guitarist Brian West formed production outfit Track & Field. By the late '90s, the duo was working with a then-unknown female singer: Nelly Furtado, whose debut album, 2000's Whoa, Nelly!, featured the production work of Track & Field. Fast-forward two years and Shake It Off finds the musically savvy production duo working with one of its own. Like Furtado's wonderfully genre-bending disc, Shake It Off effortlessly brings together a handful of musical styles, from soul, R&B, and hip-hop to reggae, pop, and electronic. After listening to sublime tracks like "So Amazing," "Who Will Be Your Man," "Fine Line" (featuring Furtado), "If We Only Knew," "Run for Your Life" (featuring Esthero), and the title track, it becomes readily apparent that Church was well-schooled on the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Prince, Bob Marley, and Joao Gilberto. Incredibly fine.—MP