Music Reviews

Philip Bailey

Soul On Jazz

Heads Up International

Frankly, I was prepared to hate this CD. I mean, c•mon, an old R&B crooner wanting to do “jazz.” It reeked of “Smooth Jazz Flavors” • the refuge for has-beens who want to make a quick buck (that•s what Jeffrey Osbourne did). And Bailey hasn’t done anything since his “Easy Lover” hit with Phil Collins except perfect his Maurice White impersonation so he and the White-less Earth Wind & Fire could start touring again.

Thank goodness for all of us, Phil Perry was nowhere near this project. Or else, we’d be drowning in the schlock. Soul On Jazz does have its fair share of that (the horrible rap on “My Indiscretions” • along with Bailey’s White imitation), but it•s still not half-bad. It’s a hit or miss kind of adventure. In “Dear Ruby,” that fragile, beautiful falsetto Bailey’s known for almost brings you to tears until that cheesy-ass chorus gets you to wailing.

That is the saving grace of the album, though: that voice. M. Bailey sure can sing purdy. And, as long as he does that, an album can’t be so bad, right? Also, I think he’s actually taken a few pointers from the neo-soul heads. Where before this album could’ve been dripping with Velveeta, there•s a bit of energy and verve here. There’s the jaunty jazz of “Bop-Skip-Doodle” and the neo-soul-inflected “Unrestrained.” And, of course, there are ballads without those smooth jazz back-up singers (“Tell Me a Bedtime Story” and “Nature Boy”) that pierce the soul.

As I said, not a bad album • and considering what the other boomer crooners are doing these days (nothing!), quite pleasurable. Now, if we can only somehow get Amir Thompson involved with Bailey’s next project, we’ll have a classic on our hands.

Heads Up International: http://www.headsup.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Little Feat

Little Feat

Event Reviews

With Miko Marks opening a wonderful evening in Iowa City, Little Feat plunder their back catalog as Jeremy Glazier stands beneath the freak flag.

Meditations on Crime

Meditations on Crime

Print Reviews

Politics is Crime. Crime is Politics. Discuss… Carl F. Gauze reviews Meditations on Crime, the book half of Harper Simon’s super-collaborative art and music project.

Porn and Ice Cream

Porn and Ice Cream

Screen Reviews

Three aimless misfits find themselves a purpose when they unwittingly start a band. It’s not your typical rock story, as Ian Koss explains.

Fire and Iceland

Fire and Iceland

Interviews

New York filmmaker April Anderson talks with Bob Pomeroy about volcanoes, horses, and making documentaries in Iceland.

Best of Film 2022

Best of Film 2022

Screen Reviews

With a year of festival and microcinema screenings behind them, Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite films, six supplemental features, and one exceptional repertory release of 2022.

Laura Citarella

Laura Citarella

Interviews

Director Laura Citarella, of the famed filmmaking collective El Pampero Cine, has created with her newest feature Trenque Lauquen a provocative transformation of her protagonist Laura (Laura Parades), whom Citarella first introduced in her 2011 film Ostende. Lily and Generoso enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Citarella about Trenque Lauquen when it screened at AFI Fest 2022.

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

Features

Join us for a new edition of New Music Now, with our special musical guest, Sleepyhead. All three members of the band are school teachers, so you didn’t hear it from us, but there might be a pop quiz about their album New Alchemy after the show.

%d bloggers like this: