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More and more contemporary singers are working at fusing jazz with other genre in order to attract the younger set. The latest entrant in this type of undertaking is singer Tonia Woods where she peppers R & B with a dash of jazz rhythms from time to time. But the material is more the former than the latter. Most of the program is composed by Woods in conjunction with the album's producer Tony Taylor all of which she sings in a fervent, earnest manner reminding one of Natalie Cole before the singer discovered she could do much more than urban contemporary. Woods has a sensational set of pipes, with excellent range and diction and more than a share of emotional intensity, all of which come through on such tracks as "If You Let Me" and "Seven Days and Seven Nights". Woods does a lovely rendition of the "The Lord's Prayer" which allows her to give full rein to her pure and powerful voice. While a welcome respite from the rest of the agenda, it just seems out of place here. To her credit, Taylor doesn't allow the keyboard /programming generated instrumentation and the ubiquitous background vocals to drown her out as too often happens on these types of albums. One can actually hear the lyrics of the tunes she sings. Also, to her credit, the instrumental backup is not limited to the keyboards. In addition to guitars, Marshall Keys' sax adds to such tracks as "Go the Distance" and "On My Way". This album os for those who like the Whitney Houston type of vocalizing, with plenty of emotion and vocal swoops and dips. Visit Tonia on the web at http://www.doubleoproductions. com/Tonia/Tonia. htm.
Track Listing: Mister Understand; If You Let Me; Will You Do It (You Make Me High); Mad Love; Hold On; On My Way; Can't Stand the Rain; Seven Days Seven Nights; Go the Distance; Dance with Me; The Lord's Prayer; If You Let Me-Reflections
Personnel: Tonia Woods - Vocal; Tony Taylor, Brian Taylor - Keyboards/ Programming/Sequencing; Greg Grainger - Drums; Gary Grainger, Steve Sidley - Bass; Sirdjan Kolaravich, Kevin Obrien - Guitar; Marshall Keys - Saxes; Jarrard Anthony, Rhonda Coe - Background Vocals
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!