3

Nicolas Bearde: Visions

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Nicolas Bearde: Visions Vocalist Nicolas Bearde has carved out a comfortable niche in the soul-meets-jazz area of the music world. His previous albums—Crossing The Line (Right Groove Records, 2003), All About Love (Right Groove Records, 2004) and Live at Yoshi's—a Salute to Lou (Right Groove Records, 2008)—showcase his songwriting and suave delivery while also pointing toward those who've inspired and influenced him, like Lou Rawls, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers.

On this, his fourth self-released effort, Bearde works his magic again. He covers a lot of sonic ground, due in no small part to the utilization of a piecemeal approach to personnel selection; he uses over two dozen musicians—with plenty of one-and-done appearances—to help him actualize his vision(s). Sweet and swooning strings, swinging combos, horns, guitars and percussion all play a part in these productions, but Bearde's voice remains the focal point, and rightly so. It might be going a bit too far to say that he's soul personified, but that tag kinda fits. Bearde takes a Stevie Wonder-esque approach to an Earth, Wind & Fire number ("Mighty, Mighty"), nods to Jon Lucien with the pseudo-Brazilian "You're Sensational," and adds a kick to the proceedings with Eugene McDaniels' immortal "Compared To What."

Bearde tends to sound best when the energy runs high, as on the driving "Mighty, Mighty" and spry-and-snazzy "The Best Things In Life Are Free," but he often likes to explore smoother scenarios, as on "Visions," "If You Were Mine" and "Everything Must Change." It's hard to know if this approach to repertoire is meant to balance the artful and the commercial or if it's simply a reflection of his wide-ranging taste, but it's really irrelevant. He's the same man, with the same brandied baritone, regardless of the window dressing that surrounds him.


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: vocals (2); Jeanie Tracy: vocals (2); Kimiko Joy: vocals (10); Gino Blacknell: strings (2); Nelson Braxton: bass (6); Gary Brown: bass (1, 4, 5, 7, 10-12); John R. Burr: piano, Fender Rhodes (1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10); Deszon Claiborne: drums (6, 9); Louis Fasman: trumpet (1, 10, 11); David Garfield: piano (2); Peter Horvath: piano, strings (6); John Hoy: guitar (12); Alphonso Johnson: bass (2); Kleber Jorge: guitar (2); Will Kennedy: drums (1, 4, 5, 7, 10-12); Lorn Leber: guitar (1, 5, 11); Dave Matthews: Hammond B3 organ (3); Gary Meek: saxophone (5); Bill Ortiz: trumpet (4, 6); Glen Pearson: piano (9, 11); Mike Rinta: trombone (1, 10, 11); Doug Rowan: saxophone (1, 10, 11); Mike Shapiro: drums (2); Marcus Shelby: bass (9); Mike Spiro: percussion (4, 7, 11, 12); Akira Tana: drums (8); John Wiitala: bass (8)

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Right Groove Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Freedom is a State of Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is a State of Mind
by Dave Wayne
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "The Three Voices" CD/LP/Track Review The Three Voices
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Handel:  Complete Harpsichord Music" CD/LP/Track Review Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!