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Thursday, January 24, 2013
RONNIE LAWS - TWO ORIGINAL CLASSIC ALBUMS RELEASED - MR. NICE GUY / CLASSIC MASTERS
A pair of classics from Ronnie Laws – back to back on a single CD! On Mr Nice Guy, Laws really makes a big move into the soul field – quite a big record for him back in the day, and a set that helped him reach an even wider audience at the time! Ronnie sings as much as playing sax on the set – and he also handles a fair bit of keyboards too – often laid down alongside the beats with a snapping 80s groove sort of feel – a sound that's just right for the jazzy flourishes you'd expect from Laws, but much more soul-styled than before! Laws' vocals have a lightness that really works well with the instrumentation – a catchy charm we wouldn't have expected a few years before. Tracks include "In The Groove", "Mr Nice Guy", "Big Stars", "Can't Save Tomorrow", "What Does It Take", "Off & On Again", and "Rolling". Classic Masters features the best of Ronnie Laws' 70s material, plus a few new tracks as well – an album that definitely lives up to its title! The music is awash in both jazz and soul modes – jazz, thanks to Ronnie's well-played solos, which soar out in an amazing blend of new ideas and on-the-money groove – and soul, with production that really helped Laws cross over to big audiences at the time – a blend that's like the best Blue Note jazz funk of the mid 70s! The new cuts include "City Girl" and "(You Are) Paradise" – and some of the classics include Wayne Henderson-produced gems, like "Friends and Strangers", "Saturday Evening", and the big big hit "Always There". ~ Dusty Groove