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The Soul Express Album of the Month

March 2004

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Note: Read the fresh interview with Louise Perryman from our printed issue 1/04

Whisper My Name
(US Louise Perryman, 2004)
Whisper My Name - Play Your Game - Everybody Need A Little Love - Stay - Thinkin' Too Much - Prayer For You - This Is Heaven - You Can't Stop Me Now
This fantastic CD had languished on my wants list for well over a year - and now Louise has re-issued the set with a 2004 imprint. Those of you who love the quality soul-jazz of Khani Cole, Marilyn Scott, DeBorah Bond and Brenda Hillman will simply be biting the hands off stockists for this CD. Louise Perryman hails from Australia - a place not noted for anything other than Rock music - and drops a musical bombshell of 8 scorching tracks sizzling with soul, jazz, and pure sass.
This fine lady has a great set of tonsils too, and from the offset you know that Louise is in complete control of her ability, her songs and works in tight yet loose, synchronisation with her musicians, all of which do a fine job. If you are not sold on this CD within the opening dozen bars or so of track one "Whisper My Name" then I suggest you go buy some cotton wool buds. The slinky, early 80s feel to this midtempo guitar laced track will hit you right in the quality zone of your tastebuds and why i have not heard this on quality radio I really do not know. I love the funky guitar licks over the compulsive lead guitar. Worth every penny for this song alone.
"Play Your Game" drops the tempo and has a real Khani Cole edge to it - think also of the Cynthia Biggs project but with more 'real instruments' then you are part way there. Raising the tempo and slotting in some 70s organ is the refreshing "Everybody Need A Little Love". For lovers of quality MOR based tunes will soak up "Stay" which will have a very broad appeal beyond the sometimes narrow soul / jazz boundaries. Songs like this are nicely transcendental purely for being clean, uncomplicated, well executed and immaculately delivered. This is a classy, classy song, simply put. Funkier, more fluid arrangements and bluesier guitars follow up this laid back moment and facilitate Louise's smooth, creamy vocals to drape over the beats; the scat is very good indeed too.
"Prayer For You" is another track that I could imagine having a home on quality adult US radio, the guitar again is superb, even though this is not my favourite song. That said, this CD demonstrates that Louise's qualities are not so easy to pidgeon-hole or define. Moving swiftly from soulful expression to jazzier asides and reflective, quality US MOR moments this lovely Lady is inviting as much praise as she possibly can. I have no problem with this - and I think that many readers who are strictly soul fans or jazz-fusion fans will all find something to celebrate on "Whisper My Name".
Again, a winner for me is the gentle "This Is Heaven"; airy, floaty and quality. A racy, jazzy and tentatively funky song called "You Can't Stop Me" closes the lid on this CD - and is very good indded with its brassy horns and slight pop leaning.
A mixed set that will have wide appeal, a foundation in quality soulful jazz but with a few musical fingers in a few plums. Log onto CD Baby and check it out. Do not miss this CD.
- Barry Towler

Albums of the Month in 2003
Albums of the Month in 2002
Albums of the Month in 2001
Albums of the Month in 2000
Albums of the Month in 1999
Albums of the Month in 1998
Albums of the Month in 1997

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