One of the best CDs this decade by female soul singers Antoinette Manganas is the latest protegée of Norman Connors.
Anyone who adores classic female soul in the vein of Phyllis Hyman should not disregard this CD!
ANTOINETTE Verbal Crush
US Pyramid CD, 2008
2) Could It Be Magic
3) Where Do We Go from Here
4) Deja Vu
5) These Foolish Things
6) How Insensitive
7) It's too Late
8) Sara Smile
10) Show Me
11) Love Won't Let Me Wait
12) My Love Is All That
Antoinette Manganas was the main new artist Norman Connors introduced
on his latest CD Star Power, and here we have a whole album by Antoinette, produced by
Norman Connors, his long-time partner Donald Tavie and Larry King.
Although the CD contains a lot of cover material, I still rate this as one of the
best CDs released this decade by female soul singers. Antoinette has a personal,
very soulful phrasing style that at places reminds me of Dionne Warwick, while
on some other tracks her music is very close to the kind of music Phyllis Hyman
recorded. Anyone who adores classic female soul should not disregard this CD!
The CD opens with a rather uncharasterical track for the album, a dance-remixed
version of the Gerswhin classic Summertime, quite passable in its own
category but completely different from the rest of the album, which is virtually
a ballad album, and full of mature, tasty performances with mainly real instrumentation.
We have lots of cover tunes on offer, but they all follow the same overall style
with jazz-tinged backings, relaxed yet soulful atmosphere and extremely classy
interpretations by Antoinette. Of the numerous standards, I especially enjoyed
Antoinette's readings of the Hall & Oates classic Sara Smile
(earlier recorded by other soul artists like Latimore, Lenny Williams
and The Manhattans as well), her sensual touches on Jobim's Bossa Nova song
How Insenstive and a very Warwick-ish version of Deja Vu.
And the best thing is that we also have new compositions with a classic status here;
Antoinette's own composition Where Do We Go from Here was already featured
on Norman Connors' album, and it's a passionate duet with Howard Hewett
- check the YouTube video clip below to see the live version of the same!
Special is a vibrant tune written by Norman Connors, and to crown the whole
album, the CD closes with an utterly brilliant Connors-produced
Nick Martinelli song originally
intended for Phyllis Hyman, My Love Is All That, which currently
tops our own
Quality Time Cream Cuts chart and is a strong contender for the
top 5 soul tracks of 2009!
"There’s a lot of old-school soul but also a sultry jazz side.
They’re heart songs, with a lot of emotion and passion in the music", describes
Antoinette on her own site
all I can do is agree. Go and get the CD!
- Ismo Tenkanen
Soul Express Video Pick from YouTube
Antoinette & Howard Hewett: Where Do We Go from Here (Live Version)