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Soul Express Album of the Month

December 1998

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(US Warner Bros CD, 1998)
1) Fire of Love 2) The Girl from Ipanema 3) Wanting 4) Forever (duet with Eric Benet) 5) You Know What It's Like 6) Seven Days 7) Just an Hour 8) Fantasis 9) I'll Be Loving You 10) Love Is So Unkind 11) Feels So Good 12) Brasileira

Gabriela Anders is Argentinean, and comes from Buenos Aires. This young lady delivers us a SUPERB and CONSISTENT Latin tinged "smooth jazz" set and has the production talents of George Duke, Paul Brown and Matt Pearson to lean on. The end result is a soul/jazz lovers dream. Vocally she comes to us in an extremely sensual and sexy way indeed. Imagine a vocal fusion of Astrud Gilberto and Chante Moore. Interested? Some of her vocal phrasing echoes of Sade, but this lady is far superior and has a much wider, varied and more interesting vocal range.

The only disappointing track is the dreadful reggae tinged Seven Days, so simply program your player to skip this blip and sit back and just ENJOY. I could write reams on this album, so in short the album is smooth, jazzy, summery, soulful, well produced and very, very more-ish.

There are a few cover on here, including what has to be the best ever remake of The Girl from Ipanema. This is a soul-lovers delight; immeasurably soulful, sultry and perfect for the Quiet Storm slot. EXCELLENT. The other is of Roberta Flack's You Know What It's Like and is more true to the original but perhaps mellower.

Soul hero, Eric Benet adds his mighty fine tonsils to the mix on the spine tingling Forever. I really can't applaud this CD enough and it has to rate as one of the best vocal jazz fusion sets I've reviewed since the Marilyn Scott or the Hillary James sets. Not many albums get such allocates from me, but this is one that is more than deserving. The sad thing is that we will have to wait for her to release another album. I'm impatient already!!!
- Barry Towler

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