When most jazz singers do standards, they come from the "classic" American songbook, the one that includes show tunes and pop songs from a bygone era, one that was powered by names such as Gershwin, Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sammy Kahn, Johnny Mercer, and so many others. That said, Cassandra Wilson is not just any jazz vocalist, and her Blue Note catalog – the label she's been with since 1993 – proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Wilson has explored her deep love of jazz and blues to be sure, covering everyone from Robert Johnson to Miles Davis…
The inspiration behind Closer to the People was to get Tanita Tikaram closer to her road band: to record the singer/songwriter with a touring combo with serious blues and soul roots. Several of these players have done time with Van Morrison, a comparison that comes in handy for Closer to the People, not because her songs sound like Van's – they don't – but the record trades in jazz and soul influences while also spinning these familiar tropes into the realm of the personal. Tikaram specializes in sculpted, open-ended compositions – even when the tempo quickens her songs seem to unfold gracefully – and that means the hushed arrangements, underpinned by acoustic bass and brushed drums, seem like reflections of the song's soul. Such tasteful surroundings mean Closer to the People works well as a mood album – the quiet, sophisticated veneer is sustained from beginning to end – but the album is rewarding with closer attention, attention that reveals the details in both the arrangements and writing.
'Get Closer' features Geva with his backup band Tree playing striking new arrangements ranging in style from haunting alternative rock to psychedelic guitar and country music. Geva's most personal album yet…
Closer Than Close is a different album from the Queen of Philly Soul. Jean previously sang jazz with former husband Doug Carn, then became familiar to soul fans through her work with Norman Connors and further secured lifelong fans through her four album affiliation with Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records from 1976 and one further solo album for Motown in 1982.
The band, with new bassist Dave Bartlett played various shows to support the new album including the Cambridge Rock Festival and, shortly after enlisting the talents of new Guitarist Shaun Bessant, the band were asked to play at the prestigious Firefest Festival that year and a CD/DVD was recorded and released in 2011. … the added ARFM session bonus tracks are a real treat too!
The debut by Newman was released Europe through Point Music as a solo project, but "One Step Closer" sees a huge leap forward and has much more of a "band" feel. The first thing to hit you is the crispness of the sound, opening track "One Step Closer" is beautifully arranged and boasts a strong melody and subtle keyboards. Superior Japanese edition of this AOR masterpiece.
Tyrone Davis was a leading American blues and soul singer with a distinctive style, recording a long list of hit records over a period of more than twenty years. He had three no. 1 hits on the Billboard R&B chart: "Can I Change My Mind," "Turn Back The Hands Of Time" and "Turning Point." Davis released about 25 singles during his seven years with Dakar, most of them big R&B sellers produced by Willie Henderson. He finally returned to the top spot with "Turning Point" in 1975. Soon afterwards, Davis switched to the major Columbia record label and recorded seven albums over the next five years with producer Leo Graham and arranger James Mack who had collaborated with him for "Turning Point". Major hits with Columbia included "Give It Up," "This I Swear" and "In The Mood." Dubbed the "King of Romantic Chicago Soul" by MTV, Davis' perceived vulnerability and class endeared him to female soul fans through the 70's.