How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Carol Duboc has chosen to go with a program of her own songs. This is not unreasonable given her track record as a composer. Duboc has written and arranged hits for such pop stars as Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore and Stephanie Mills. Her album further highlights the blurring of lines between jazz and pop in the contemporary music scene. Many vocalists like Duboc, wanting to create a broader audience base, work pop oriented material into their program. Duboc has impressed many with this approach as this album was nominated for a Grammy - - in the pop/vocal category. Duboc is joined on this CD by smooth jazz luminaries Hubert Laws and Gerald Alright, a bevy of other instrumentalists and the ubiquitous over dubbed electronically created strings and back up vocals. Duboc has a very appealing vocal technique which, to her credit, manages to come through all the clutter. Calling herself an "urban jazz" singer, she does well with all sort of tempi with her smooth, sexy voice. The result is all very pretty and soothing. But it is rarely challenging and lacks any improvisation that's the stock of trade of many jazz singers. Most everything here is too pat, too mapped out and too predictable to make this album especially engaging. It's only when the strings and other ersatz instrumentations are put aside that matters get interesting. A swinging "Soon", with some good muted trumpet, gets as close to "jazz" as anything on the album. "All I Need", with a Latin beat, has an infectious toe tapping way about it as well.
This CD will be especially appreciated by devotees of smooth jazz who like their music spruced up with pop licks. Visit Carol at http://carolduboc.com.
Track Listing: Second Nature; My Inspiration; All I Need; With All That I Am; I Wanna Know; The Promise; For You; Moody; Get Around; Soon; Back There; Open My Heart
Personnel: Carol Duboc - Vocals; Patrick Moten - Piano/Rhodes; Kevin Brandon, Tony Dumas, John Leftwich - Bass; Land Richards - Drums; Luis Conte - Percussion; Hubert Laws, Ralph Jones - Flute; Gerald Alright - Sax; Michael "Patches" Stuart, Charles Moore - Trumpet; Freddy Ramos - Guitar