A range of special projects, guest appearances, and b-sides from Eric Roberson – and music that's mostly still better than the top-shelf recordings from most other artists! Eric's a singer we've loved for years, no matter what the setting – and he's got a richly collaborative spirit that's had him working with lots of the best of the underground for the past decade or so – lending his sublime vocals, songwriting skills, and even production talents to a range of really wonderful projects. This overdue collection pulls together all the best of those moments, and throws in a few special Roberson recordings too – all to make for one hell of a great record that's bursting with some of the best ideas going in contemporary soul. Titles include "Touch" with Collette, "Butterfly Girl" with DJ Spinna, "Let Me Know" with Angela Johnson, "Games" with M-Swift, "This Could Be The Night" with Zo, "She Was Fly" by Full Crate & Mar, "Far Away Girl" by Aaron Camper, "Fortune Teller" by DJ Kemit, "Deja Vous" with Les Nubians, and "Postcards From The Edge" with Wes Felton – plus the tracks "Fantasy" and "Anymore". ~ Dusty Groove.
JAMES BRANDON LEWIS - DIVINE TRAVELS
A wonderful showcase for the tenor talents of James Brandon Lewis – a player who's just starting out on what will most likely be a rich career – but who's already able here to match his energy with the great William Parker on bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums! The album's got this loose trio format that really hearkens back not just to older avant eras – especially the New York scene of the 60s and 70s – but also the Sonny Rollins trio mode of the late 50s, heard most famously on his Blue Note recordings with Wilbur Ware. Like Rollins, Lewis has a great way of respecting the bassist in this format – often working with Parker's energy to find this deep soul which serves as a platform to then step out and soar – relatively free at times, but never too far outside to lose the sense of spirituality that drives the record. At some level, the set's almost got a vibe that's like the best David S Ware/William Parker collaborations – and titles include "Tradition", "Desensitized", "Divine", "A Gathering Of Souls", "Enclosed", and "No Wooden Nickels". ~ Dusty Groove
STEVE FIDYK - HEADS UP!
Drummer Steve Fidyk is a hell of a sharp talent on the kit – and he's working here with a mighty tight group that features Terell Stafford on trumpet and Tim Warfield on tenor! Fidyk's got a way of propelling things forcefully one minute, then stepping back and providing this carefully compelling rhythm the next – a quality that really makes him a well-balanced player, but also one with an inherently rhythmic focus even in the mellower moments. All players really seem to catch the fire of his leadership – including guitarist Shawn Purcell, who rings out with some beautiful tones at times, in a group that also features Regan Brough on bass. Titles include the originals "Untimely", "Might This Be Bop", "TTJ", and "The Bender" – plus versions of "Make Someone Happy" and "Love For Sale". ~ Dusty Groove