(US I.E. Music)
1) Can You Feel Me 2) Somebody For Me 3) I'll Be Alright 4) Like Today 5) You And I 6) I Have To 7) For Old Time Sake 8) You Still Do It 9) Who 10) Just Fine 11) All Because I'm Free
After a break of 5 years and a recording paralysis with MCA Records, Vesta bounces back with her most consistent CD to date. A change of label has done her much good, although as far as I can see it, very little improve was actually needed! The overall style of the album swings from street / urban to the jazzy and, of course, the downright soulful.
Without a single track to fault, this is an extremely safe purchase indeed. Producers include Barry J. Eastmond, Derrick Edmondson (of After 7 fame), Myron McKinley, Travon Potts, Lee Ritenour and Vesta herself. As a rough guide, then, the favourites for these ears include the sublime Somebody For Me produced by Barry Eastmond, the soulful yet jazzy fusion of Lee Ritenour's Like Today with its gorgeous and smooth jazz undercurrent and warm keyboard fills. This really is an essential track.
Inasmuch as the previous track is a must, I know that devotees of QUALITY and CLASSIC soul music with real instruments and melody will quiver with delight when they hear the drop-dead essential killer, I Have To. There are elements of '70s Norman Connors in the foundations; the strings, orchestration piano are quite spine tingling. Followers of Richard Searling's shows will revel such a track as this is exactly the sort of quality that the man adheres to.
When we take a step back from this album, the picture is very clear in that it is a release for the connoisseur to savour and it really gets the imagination going, the soul stirring and the fingers itching to grab hold of the next release of similar quality. And believe me, there are some flavoursome albums due out for those who know and love their music. Do not ignore this album. You cannot fault it one bit.
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.