Pianist, composer and producer Meeco alias Michael Maier delivers his fourth album with Souvenirs of Love offering a "collection of love songs that tell my life" story as the artist states, through a range of R & B, intimate jazz ballads and a touch of the hip-hop influence provided in a tasteful elegant platform. Not a conservative musician by any stretch, Meeco is used to doing things big, out of the norm and striking a new approach. On this venture, Meeco does it again designing a musical statement with new innovations. Here, he presents the music through the prism of jazz using an all-star list of jazz and soul musicians to document, what is, essentially, a classic R&B vocals recording.
The opening title track sets the stage for what's to come with Mary Stallings on the narration and Vincent Herring laying down a beautiful alto saxophone solo defining the mood and the texture of the tune as pianist Eric Reed and bassist Buster Williams round out the stellar cast. Soul singer Dana Nicole Williams, known professionally as Yahzarah, is featured often on the array of vocal pieces found on this album. The hip-hop sound comes plainly through on "Times Have Changed" featuring Talib Kweli on lead vocals which also highlights trumpeter Wallace Roney, Victor Lewis on the drums and DJ Stylewarz on effects.
The R&B sound is quite alive on many tunes such as on "Can't Get You Out of My Mind," and on "If Only I Knew" featuring vocalists Jean Baylor and Marcus Baylor with superb muted trumpet solos from Eddie Henderson. There are many highlights on this love journey from Meeco and one such song is "Paris At Night" with Jean Baylor on vocals Herring on soprano and the great Stefon Harris on the vibes. Another beautiful love song not to miss is "Words of Love" featuring Yahzarah on lead vocals the guitar icon John Scofield and Richard Bona on electric bass.
With an original eleven-song repertoire and an additional five bonus tracks presenting instrumental versions of several of the original vocal pieces, Meeco's highly entertaining Souvenirs of Love showcases the best of light R&B and jazz-tinged love ballads in a gorgeous album that speaks to the heart. This is indeed a special album that brings together luminaries of jazz with a new generation of stars on the same stage in a unique format that works quite well, well done!
Souvenirs Of Love; Make My Dreams Come True; Every Day; Times Have Changed; If
Only I Knew; Can't Get You Out Of My Mind; Paris At Night; Your Eyes; Words Of Love;
For You; Farewell; Paris At Night-Instrumental; Your Eyes-Instrumental; Times Have
Changed-Instrumental; If Only I Knew-Aiko Rohd Remix; Every Day-Aiko Rohd Remix.
Mary Stallings: spoken word vocals; Vincent Herring: alto saxophone; Eric Reed: piano;
Buster Williams: upright bass; Yahzarah: vocals; John Scofield: electric guitar; Bryan
Smith: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sub bass; Shedrick Mitchell: Hammond organ,
Fender Rhodes, piano; Richard Bona: electric bass; Victor Lewis: drums; Aaron
Marcellus: vocals; Jean Baylor: vocals; Kirk Whalum: tenor saxophone; David "DJ"
Ginyard: electric bass; Marcus Baylor: drums; Talib Kweli: vocals; Wallace Roney:
trumpet; Dezron Douglas: upright bass; DJ Stylewarz: scratches and effects; Eddie
Henderson: trumpet; Ingrid Arthur: vocals; Andy Roda: vocals; Wanja Janeva: vocals;
Brad Allen Williams: electric guitar; Jermaine Parrish: drums; Alan Plummer:
percussion; Casey Benjamin: vocoder; Lionel Loueke: guitar; Hubert Laws: alto flute;
Rolo Rodriguez: percussion; Stefon Harris: vibraphone; Jacques Morelenbaum: cello;