Album of the
Soul Express Album Review
PETER MICHAEL ESCOVEDO:
US J Muzic, 2006
1) I Thank Ya 2) It's Up Yo You 3) That's The Way It Goes 4) Ghetto Mambo 5) Sunshine 6) I'm On Fire 7) Circle In A Square Peg 8) All Up In Your Mind 9) Soulmate 10) Moments
No prizes for who's offspring this is! No prizes, also for hazarding a guess that this
gentleman has talent in abundance as he is the fruit of the great Escovedo musical
tree which also has given us percussionist Pete Escovedo and the ultra sexy
Sheila E. This bubbling and heady album is a tasteful mix of soulful jazz
with a Latin flavour. Some of this would appeal to more open-minded US radio stations
and definitely would hit the spot within Latin quarters within the US.
There are a multitude of songs here that are excellent, and so more than merit this CD
as a solid purchase. Joining Peter on this album is a tasty tyrade of the great
and the soulful, and I think you'll agree with me that these good folks can
do nought but suggest that the songs on here are pure quality.
Bridget Bryant adds her vocal talents and Gerald Albright,
Paul Jackson Jr, Wayne Linsey and Ronnie Foster among others
pitch in with their individual skills.
The opening song, “I Thank Ya”, is a robust Latin soul effort that begs airplay;
not my overall favourite cut but an impressive slice of passionate Latin music
nonetheless. The song that will floor a lot of readers will be the superb “It's
Up To You” which is in the Pete Balasco bag with a twist of Kem and
Marlon Saunders. This song will be heading straight for the iPod!
Quality Time afficianados will really appreciate this... the flute, when that apperas,
takes us to another level. This is EXACTLY the sort of material that I want to hear in 2007.
Similarly, the pondering “Sunshine” grabs you with both hands. This song has a more
programmed feel, but the basic, stripped down backing, timbales, fender rhodes and
Stevie-like harmonica. I can imagine Eric Benét doing something like this.
“Circle In A Square Peg” also could be a Benét song from his “A Day In The Life”
album, and deserves serious radio play. In the good old days before the lunatics
took over the Asylum, records like this would have had exposure and been hits.
The uptempo, jazzy “Soulmate” echoes Jeff Lorber in his more soulful moments
a la “West Side Stories”. Paul Jackson Jr works very well on this and I only wish
he would adopt more material like this on his own albums. What works very nicely
is the cool soulful bossa of “Moments”. Those keys take me right back to the
early 80s, and Peter's smooth, smooth vocals do nothing but justice to it.
I think this is a real gem of an album, and if you like more ardant Latin material
then there is also that too. Please check out Peter on MySpace and if you like
what you see head off to his label's website at
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