Within a refined setting of easy listening pop ballads and lightly funky up-tempo selections produced by Al McKay, Henderson proves himself an assured vocalist with mastery of clarity and phrasing. The problem here is the material isn't challenging enough – it's often formulaic and derivative of other early-'80s releases. Even a contribution from Stevie Wonder, "Crush on You," wanders into oblivion. But the singer's debonair tone and elegant, polished diction makes the weaker sound stronger. A perfect example is the mid-tempo "I'd Rather Be Gone," which suffers from a sleepy melody and clichéd rhythm arrangement.
The Complete Motown Singles has been a dream project of Motown and soul fanatics for many years, ever since the first decade of Stax/Volt singles was compiled in an impressive nine-disc box set in 1991. The Complete Motown Singles might have seemed like a logical move to soul collectors and fanatics, but it remained in the realm of fantasy for many years because, as enticing as that set was, it was difficult to create.
This 18-track compilation includes everything from Kiki Dee's early-'70s Motown album Great Expectations, as well as two additional tracks from her time with the label that surfaced on the rare budget Kiki Dee album in the mid-'70s, along with four previously unreleased 1969-1970 outtakes. While it's good to have this fairly rare material thoughtfully combined into one package, it reinforces the sense that neither Motown nor Dee realized the potential from their unusual association.
There are as many flavours of jazz as there are pebbles on a beach, but the majority combine rhythmic invention with instrumental virtuosity to create a sound that can transport the listener to a different plane. Whether your ear is caught by the saxophone of Earl Bostic or Eddie Harris, the flute of Herbie Mann, Ray Charles’ effervescent keyboards (he played sax too) or the music of Cuban-born ‘King of the Mambo’ Perez Prado, whose 1958 US chart-topper ‘Patricia’ is familiar from countless movies and television ads,one thing is certain – the jazz instrumental still reigns supreme.
A look at the life of the late pop star Michael Jackson from his early days at Motown Records to the release of his hit 1979 album, Off the Wall.