Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Nicolas Bearde: Visions

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
First the good news: Nicolas Bearde, former back-up singer with Bobby McFerrin, is blessed with a deep, dark, romantic voice reminiscent of Lou Rawls and on this album, which seeks to blend soul with jazz, he is backed by some of the best studio musicians on the West Coast.

Now the bad news: his voice here lacks both expression and range. On Errol Garner's "Misty" Bearde ducks the famous opening melody, where the words "Look at me..." are meant to rise from B flat ninth to E flat major seventh, and attempts a rather mundane "soul" treatment of the song even though his heart blatantly isn't in it. His cry of "Oooh!" before and grunts of approval during Dave Mathews' organ solo just don't ring true.

Worse, there's his version of Bernard Ighner's "Everything Must Change," the unofficial anthem of the Obama era. It took an artist of the caliber of Oleta Adams to successfully resurrect this marvelous song in 1990, successfully braving comparisons with versions by Quincy Jones, Sarah Vaughan and Nina Simone. Bearde doesn't have the class to work the same oracle in the third millennium.

After reducing "Everything Must Change" to cocktail bar fodder, he goes on to gut that wonderfully enigmatic protest song "Compared To What" of all the barely controlled anger Gene McDaniels put into it.

He is far more at home on a second Bernard Ighner song, "(And ) It All Goes 'Round and 'Round," a slow ballad that, in terms of expression, calls only for resignation. He also turns in creditable versions of Earth, Wind and Fire's "Mighty Mighty" from 1974 and Stevie Wonder's plaintive "Visions," which came out a year earlier.

And he does an excellent job on two of his own compositions, "Falling In Love Again" and "If You Were Mine," both of which are straight love songs.

Bearde does have a very warm voice and the album is extremely well produced but, in the final analysis, the dominant feeling is one of missed opportunity.

Track Listing: Falling In Love Again; You’re Sensational; Misty; Everything Must Change; The Best Things In Life Are Free; (And) It All Goes ’Round And ’Round; If You Were Mine; Never Let Me Go; Mighty Mighty; You Better Go; Compared To What; Visions.

Personnel: Nicolas Bearde: vocals; Larry Batiste, Jeanie Tracey, Kimiko Joy: back-up vocals; Gino Blacknell: strings; Louis Fasman, Bill Ortiz: trumpet; Mike Rinta: trombone; Doug Rowan, Gary Meek: saxophone; John R Burr, David Garfield, Peter Horvath, Dave Mathews, Glen Pearson: keyboards; John Hoy, Kleber Jorge, Lorn Leber: guitar; Gary Brown, Nelson Braxton, Alphonso Johnson, Marcus Shelby, John Witala: bass; Deszon Claborne, Will Kennedy, Mike Shapiro, Akira Tana: drums; Mike Spiro: percussion.

Title: Visions | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Right Groove Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Jazz Flute Traditions" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Baby It's Cold Outside" CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Astoria Roots Live" CD/LP/Track Review Astoria Roots Live
by James Nadal
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "90 Going On Amazing" CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" CD/LP/Track Review Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!