Phil Perry


Heart of the Man... Pure Pleasure... One Heart, One Love... My Book of
The titles of Phil Perry's four previous solo recordings from 1991
through 1999 say it all about the amazing commitment to romance that
defines the singer and his music. When he says, "Love's the only thing that
stands the test of time," he's not simply explaining why his focus has
always been love songs; his solo artistry is living testament to that
truth. Perry's Peak Records debut, via the label's new association with
Concord Records, Magic takes the flowing passion to new levels while
showcasing more than ever his development as a songwriter. Long one of
adult contemporary music's great vocal interpreters, Perry co-wrote nine of
the eleven songs on Magic, collaborating with renowned composer/ producers
like Barry J. Eastmond, Peak Records co-owner Russ Freeman, Chris Davis,
and Lee Ritenour.

"I've been singing love songs since the beginning of my career, writing on
occasion while seeking out a few great tunes among hundreds that were
submitted," says Perry. "Being so deeply involved in the compositional side
of things this time out allows me to offer a unique perspective while
continuing to do what I love. I always put all of myself into songs that
were not my own, but singing songs I've written means that every emotion
comes from within, from a purer place. I wrote about many kinds of love
about the people and things that mean the most to me…my wife Lillian, our
four children, my career. Love has many faces and stages, and the material
here reflects that. Lee Ritenour wrote and produced 'In The Morning (A
Father's Lullaby)' about my late father's assurance to me as a kid that if
I prayed before I went to bed every night, everything would be fine in the

Perry adds that while the collaborative process with each co-writer is
somewhat unique, there are a few very important criteria he always follows:
"If I can hear part of my life in the song, then I know I can truly give of
myself. As a lyricist, I know I can't be too wordy, and I have to focus on
the meter and how I'm telling the story. I usually begin with the chorus
part and build from there."

All of the singer's projects have found him enjoying working with a strong
lineup of producers. On Magic, longtime creative associates Barry J.
Eastmond and Lee Ritenour are joined by Chris Davis (who first worked with
Perry as musical director of the Rhythm of Love tour with Will Downing and
Gerald Albright) and Russ Freeman. The four Eastmond produced tracks are
the silky, mystical opening title track (which features an exotic Eastern
flavor complementing the gentle mid tempo funk); the dreamy and whimsical
"Spirit of Love," a tender story of forgiveness; the optimistic, gospel
tinged "More of Your Sweet Love," on which Perry -- fully employing his
trademark falsetto -- explores the joyful changes wrought by love; and the
breezy Brazilian flavored delight "Perfect Island Night."

Davis produced three tracks -- a hypnotic retro soul take on The Isley
Brothers' warmly familiar "For the Love Of You"; the elegant ballad "I
Can't Wait ('Til Morning Comes)," with Perry ranging from a sexy whisper to
his powerful falsetto; and the upbeat, highly percussive jazz-shuffle piece
"You'll Never Know." Freeman's two songs are the romping Brazilian romance
"Keep Reminding Me" (featuring Freeman taking masterful turns on electric
and classical guitar) and the similarly exotic and intensely soulful "All
of My Days," the story of an eternal love borne from a first wayward
glance. Ritenour's tracks include a moody cover of another Isley Brothers'
tune called "Groove With You" and of course, the very spiritual,
tear-inducing father-son ballad "In the Morning (A Father's Lullaby)."

"I've been fortunate to work with a variety of producers who bring their
own flavors and sensibilities to the project," says Perry. "They all
contribute something special, and I am grateful for the way all of them
created a relaxed environment for me to get the performance over and do
what I do best."

Perry's been "doing his best" since about age ten in his hometown of East
St. Louis, when the nuns at his parochial school were blown away by a hymn
he sang for Midnight Mass; he also learned gospel singing with his pianist
mother at her Baptist church. He launched his professional career with 70's
soul group The Montclairs, scoring hits like "Make Up For Lost Time" and
"Dreamin' Out of Season" before cutting two albums for Capitol as part of
the duo Perry & Sandlin. After the duo split, Perry established himself as
a first call background vocalist and session singer in Los Angeles. His
trademark has been versatility-singing at local clubs with Lee Ritenour;
doing studio dates with James Ingram, Quincy Jones, famed composer Michel
Colombier, Sergio Mendes, George Duke, Barbra Streisand and Patti Labelle;
singing the title theme from Arthur II; and touring in Japan, the Pacific
Rim, Europe and Brazil with Ritenour and others.

When Capitol Records executives heard him sing at a Ritenour date at the
Hollywood Bowl, they signed him again to the label for the acclaimed 1991
recording Heart of the Man, which spawned the #1 R&B hit "Call Me," a cover
of a classic Aretha Franklin tune. Performances with Dave Koz, recording
dates with Fourplay (on "Between the Sheets") and a vocal on GRP's The
Benoit/Freeman Project increased Perry's popularity in smooth jazz circles
and led to a deal with GRP. The acclaimed Pure Pleasure (1994) featured the
hit singles "If Only You Knew" and "Love Don't Love Nobody." One Heart, One
(1998) was Perry's debut recording for Peak Records via their then
distribution through Private Music/Windham Hill; he then released My Book
of Love
on Peak/Private in 2000. He's toured on and off with the Rhythm of
Love Tour since 1997 and recently contributed several vocal tracks to the
Ritenour-produced Twist of Marley.

"Whatever era of time we're talking about, people will always want to hear
great love songs," he says. "I've always believed that good music makes
things happen, and what could be more magical than singing about what you
believe in? My goal is to share the passion, feelings and concerns of
people without having to actually be in the room with them. It's about more
than simply entertainment for me. I make music that I hope can become a
part of someone's life. The new album Magic is another wonderful
opportunity to do what I love to do."

For more info on Phil Perry, visit his official website.

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