Vocalist/composer Milton Suggs released Things To Come
to certain positive acclaim. In an arid male jazz vocals landscape, Suggs recalls a simpler time ruled by the likes of Joe Williams
and Johnny Hartman
. His voice is deep and rich, with Betty Carter
's pliability and Jon Hendricks
' smokiness. On Lyrical, Volume 1
he fronts a larger-than-average band for a set of originals and adaptations that are both inventive and enjoyable. Suggs also brings a spiritual dimension to his music, reflecting his deep involvement with the Apostolic Church of God in his native Chicago.
Using trumpeter Lee Morgan
's :Ceora, from Cornbread
(Blue Note, 1965), Suggs produces a light-as-a-feather vocalese, fully mature in content and realized in concept, using Morgan's original solo in the mix. The effect is pensive, Suggs delivering it as a light bossa ballad. Suggs' singing and writing is comparable to Louise Van Aarsen
, whose Destiny
(Self Produced, 2012) reflected positive adult maturity...music for grown-ups. Lyrical, Volume 1
represents exceptional music making and a much needed male vocal presence.
Personnel: Milton Suggs: vocals; Michael L. Jellick: piano; Joshua Ramos: bass;
Greg Artry: drums; Justefan– vibraphone; Larry Brown, Jr.: guitar;
Marquis Hill: trumpet; Christopher McBride: alto saxophone; Kendall