Dreams (US Heads Up, 1999)
1) Waiting for the Rain 2) Moondance 3) Dream Like I Do 4) Something 5) Make It with You 6) Sail Away 7) Masquerade Is Over 8) Are We Doing Better Now 9) Something to Remind You 10) Something to Remind You 10) Strength to Love You
Philip Bailey has decided to spring to CDs at us in the space of a year! This time he pops up on the much acclaimed Heads Up label with a soulful set that utilises more session musicians instead of programmed backgrounds, and there is a slight jazzy setting, too, which isn't surprising when we consider the label and its artist repertoire. The guest list of musicians is way too long to fully quote, but to name a few there is Gerald Albright, Grover Washington, Joe McBride, George Duke and Robert Brookins.
Mr. Bailey still possesses a superior set of vocals and he sounds superb on every track. If you purchased his Life and Love set it is a dead cert that you will want to own this, too. Waiting for the Rain is a top-drawer material featuring keyboards, acoustic guitar and other full arrangements that render it essential listening. The following song Moondance, more uptempo, really shows the man's falsetto off rather well, and the lyrics are rather eloquent - combined with the soulful and lush backing this can't be missed either.
Kirk Whalum's distinctive sax graces the ballad Dream Like I Do and fist the flow of the CD perfectly, melting into a real classy '90s beat driven number, Something that is more akin to his material on the 1994 Philip Bailey set for Zoo Records.
For the more jazzier there is the GORGEOUS ballad Make It with You which cannot be faulted on any point. Another '90s sounding quality cut is the Maurice White penned Sail Away and couldn't be more different than the straight dinner club jazz of Masquerade Is Over which is different, but works very well. The tempo of Are We Doing Better Now is more programmed yet is still essential, and Something to Remind You more akin to a Joe McBride ballad. Finally, the slow grind of Strength to Love You adds a real dirty bassy love groove to complete this most ESSENTIAL CD.
The review by Barry Towler exclusively for RECORD CORNER, which is one of the leading soul shops in the world. The review is not featured in our printed issue.
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