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Milton Suggs: Lyrical, Volume 1

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Only A Memory"

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 Moore: trombone.

Title: Lyrical, Volume 1 | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Skiptone Music


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