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Brettina: Brettina

James Nadal By

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Blending efficiency and clarity into a self titled debut, Brettina projects herself as a vocalist with a defined focus on her music. Having written seven of the ten selections, her compositions reveal articulated nostalgia, laced with subtle personal drama. She sings as if relishing the role of messenger for people and places she left behind.

Brettina hails from the Bahamas, and defines herself as an island girl, while musically branching out into metropolitan arrangements with strong jazz crosscurrents and soft percussion applied tastefully. The Caribbean images come to mind with "Paradise," and "Bahamian Girl," the latter accompanied with proper shades of steel pans. Keeping true to her roots, Brettina reinvents the classic Harry Belafonte number "Island in the Sun," a Diaspora anthem for the ages, giving it a light jazz treatment. She has inherent sensitivity for rhythmic music and sings with authenticity, as the songs entail.

Though it is in the ballads as "Serafina," a timeless tale of a mystery woman, "Poor Old Times," an ancestral saga, and the religious prayer of "Pardon the Storm," that she really shines, recalling a young Roberta Flack with those heart wringing lyrics and delivery.

Brettina is a fine record in part due to the keyboardist and producer, Tracy Carter, who is given ample credit by Brettina, for allowing her to discover her own voice. The summation may best be in the song "My Time to Shine," and the time is now.

Track Listing: Paradise; Bahamian Girl; The Bug; Serafina; Poor Old Times; Chai; My Time To Shine; Pardon The Storm; Island In The Sun; One; Serfina (with strings).

Personnel: Brettina: vocals; Tracy Carter: keyboards; Dale Black Jr.: bass (1-6, 8, 10); Laval Belle: drums (1, 4, 9); Jerohn Garrett: drums ( 2, 3, 5, 6-8, 10); Donald Hayes: saxophone (1, 6); John "Jubu" Smith: guitar (2-7, 10); Munyungo Jackson: percussion (2, 9); Toni Scruggs: background vocals (1, 2); Ava Monroe Garrett: background vocals (2, 3, 6); Dontae Winslow: trumpet (5); Kirkwood Oakley: bass (7); Del Atkins: bass (9); Gerald Albright: saxophone (7); Theophilus Coakley: keyboards (9); Romeo Johnson: background vocals (9); Mark Cargill: strings (8, 10); Wanda Xulu: background vocals (10).

Title: Brettina | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Floating Bridge Media

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