Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New Music Releases: Jim Berry – Smooth Sailin’; Luxury Soul 2019 (3CD set) – Various Artists; Duane Eubanks Quintet - Live At Smalls

Jim Berry – Smooth Sailin’

Jim is a smooth jazz singer with a soulful touch. He excels at singing standards, but loves doing them in his own contemporary style. He's also an accomplished lyricist who has written many original tunes. Born in Chicago, this long-time Miami resident is an avid dancer who brought Chicago-Style Steppin'..an urban ballroom dance..to South Florida. His latest project SMOOTH SAILIN' has a couple of tracks which fit that genre of dance, but it also reflects his appreciation of classic tunes from Jazz and R & B. Jim is used to using his voice. He is a long-time broadcast journalist at WFOR-TV in Miami.

Luxury Soul 2019 (3CD set) – Various Artists

A fantastic assortment of contemporary soul – put together by one of the labels who kept the underground soul groove going, long before the generation of Neo Soul! Expansion Records is a London-based imprint who started out recording American soul artists from the 70s who were still going strong, but who were ignored by US labels in the 80s – then, as the years progressed, the label continued to find newer artists to work with too – at a level that made them one of the first companies to really push the idea of contemporary soul at a level that was far from the charts – which resulted in the kind of legacy that makes this 3CD set such a treasure. Most of the cuts here are from recent Expansion projects, and the set also includes gems from other sources too – and some classic cuts from their older catalog – all wrapped together in a great package for the price. Titles include "Falling Back Into Love" by Marc Evans, "Pressure" by Maysa, "Hopping Skipping So In Love" by Victor Haynes, "I Want Your Love" by One Way, "My Baby" by Ronnie McNeir, "I Want You Back" by Boogie Back with Cheri Maree, "I'll Always Love You" by Rockie Robbins, "Stay Away From You" by Chris Ballin, "Drifting" by Kim Tibbs, "So Nobody Else Can Hear" by Jimmy Cobb, "Are You Using Me" by Inner Shade, "Much Love" by Euge Groove with Rahsaan Patterson, "Stronger" by Nickee B, "Don't Judge Me (mellow mix)" by Phillip Leo, "Special Day" by Natasha Watts, "No Explanation" by Christ Standring with Mica Paris, "Secret Lover" by Saskia, "I Want Your Lovin" by Zed Soul with Rose Vincent, "Last Song" by Darien Dean with Tiffany T'Zelle, "Free To Be Me" by Lindsey Weber with Norman Brown, "Dangerous Romance" by Steve Nichol with Ellene Masre, and "Standing Ovation" by Blu Mitchell. 35 tracks on 3CDs!  ~ Dusty Groove

Duane Eubanks Quintet - Live At Smalls

A wonderfully soulful set – not just because of the trumpet of Duane Eubanks, but also thanks to the trombone of Robin Eubanks – a perfect accompaniment for the leader's horn, as the pair balance together and push the record forth in waves of richly creative sound! Both musicians get plenty of space to solo – in that perfect Live At Smalls way – open, but never loose or unstructured – with superb recording quality that captures all the beautiful nuances in all the performances. The group also features piano by either Anthony Wonsey or James Hurt – depending on the track – plus Gerald Cannon on bass and Chris Beck on drums. Titles include "The Grewming", "Victory", "Brainfreeze", "After You've Gone", "Little G's Walk", and a great take on "Silver's Serenade". ~ Dusty Groove

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