The Neville Brothers were, quite unsurprisingly, a band made up of 4 brothers from the Neville family.
Unfortunately one of the brothers (Charles) died this year of cancer. The band had disbanded in 2012 in any case.
The brothers hail from New Orleans, with a strong background in the traditions of that city. They first came together as part of their uncle’s carnival band. A lot of their music can be characterised as New Orlean’s R’n’B as well.
“Yellow Moon” is a reggae infused funk gem, with soul in spades too. The keyboard organ vamp throughout the song lends a bounce to proceedings, with the some Caribbean rhythms on the drums, and an animated bassline which is really not that far from a reggae one. The singing is soulful, with passion and verve, but for me the best melody is the saxophone, which flits and glides over the warm tangle of the other parts with a rare expressiveness.
“Yellow Moon” is the title track of the Neville Brothers 1989 album, which wasn’t that commercially successful but did receive some critical acclaim. in particular, the musician Lou Reed rated it very highly.
A great track!