is a guitarist, he is a vocalist, but foremost he is the lively
joie de vivre. I had the opportunity to attend his
performance at Warren Hill's Smooth Jazz cruise in 2005. When Jonathan
Butler goes onstage, he mesmerizes the audience with his incredible
voice. his fantastic presence and his charismatic attitude.
He became popular with his huge hits Lies, Sarah,
Sarah or More Than Friends. Fostering his popularity with
numerous concerts in Europe, South Africa and the US he still
maintains the status of a superstar.
His new album So Strong is
his 15th solo collection, offering a bouquet of
fourteen compelling songs.
ďYou canít keep your head down all the time. You have to celebrate.
With all thatís presently going on in the world, I felt the need to
give something to the fans, to offer hope. I had to get to that fun
place again. The album is a departure; itís optimistic and positive.
Itís get up-and-dance, and feel good. Itís all about just letting go.
Itís about fun with flavor and a lot of feeling. I call it the three
Fs: fun, flavor and feeling," chuckles Jonathan.
Butler produced and arranged the album, played most of
the instruments, including guitars, bass and keyboards and brought in
his friends Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Michael Lington, and Gordon
Campbell. Butlerís daughters Randy and Jodie sing background vocals.
His new album ties to his style of the early years.
ďI come from the urban world and this home-brewed album showcases my
freedom to do what comes naturally (to me). Itís easy to listen to.
The songs reflect my romantic side, my passionate side and my fun
Keep this in mind, when you listen to the opener So Strong.
Guitar riffs introduce to Jonathan Bulter's sultry ballade.
Candlelight, atmosphere, music in the air. Although the ballade is
grounded in a relationship, there is a message behind that lovely
song. You have to be strong in this tough times.
You Got to Believe in Something, if you want to survive. Butler
prays the self-confidence and the trust in the future, even when
things are running worth now. Enjoy this uplifting song and inhale his
glad tidings. The organ sound, the gospel-like choir and Butler's
urgent vocals underline his request.
On Make Room for Me Jonathan Butler jams with his friends Dave
Koz and Rick Braun. Jonathan often tours on festivals, concerts and
gigs with these artists. The ďDave Koz And Jonathan Butler Together
Again 2010Ē summer tour will kick off on June 17th at Sound Board at
Motor City Casino in Detroit, MI. Butler shines on guitar in the best
Jonathan knows the groove. Factual is inspired by Marvin Gaye's
eternal song Sexual Healing. I love the flow. Feels So Good
is Jonathan's splendid way to spread joy and happiness. When I'm with
you it's so good. We believe in Jonathan's positive attitude.
On Be Here With You Butler duets with the wonderful singer
Angie Stone. An awesome love ballade of two emotional vocalists.
Michael Lington underlines this duet on sax. And there is the flow
again. The cha-cha song Avia / For My Baby presents Jonathan in the
Benson-style. Butler comments: "It felt so different using a
(electric) jazz guitar on an instrumental. Iíve become known for using
nylon or acoustic guitars on these type of songs, but I wanted to go
back to the era that has influenced my music so strongly. The
compositions then were romantic and had great instrumentation."
Butler penned the next song I'm Right Here and five further
songs on this album with Kurt Lykes. ďKurt is like a member of the
family. We met through church and heís like another son. Heís always
here with us. Heís a really close friend and a very talented writer
and musician.Ē Kurt also performed with David Foster and other
Green is thought to relieve stress and help heal. Color Green
is Jonathan's special way to express the influence of love. Good
Times is a gentle follow-up in guitar performance. Johnny Nash's
I Can See Clearly Now finds a spiritual rebirth. ďThe song is a
confirmation that seasons will change. We need to stand together in
faith and prayer in spite of the numerous challenges we face.Ē
I Pay Respect is Butler's homage to his homeland South Africa
and his heroes Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Miriam Makeba. "Itís
J.B. going home to my African roots. Iím paying respect to my country,
to the people who influenced me, and to my faith."
Jonathan Butler's album So Strong is a contemporary witness of
Butler's music, friends and heritage. It his musical sign of hope,
faith and confidence and finally a great work of entertainment.
Buy the album in all stores
Title: So Strong
Artist: Jonathan Butler
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Rendezvous Music
01 So Strong [3:45]
02 You Got to Believe in Something [5:01]
03 Make Room for Me [3:29]
04 Factual [4:10]
05 Feels So Good [3:45]
06 Be Here With You [4:38]
07 Avia / For My Baby [4:25]
08 I'm Right Here [3:31]
09 Color Green [3:59]
10 Good Times [4:03]
11 I Can See Clearly Now [4:55]
12 I Pay Respect [5:09]
13 So Strong (Steppers Mix) [4:04]
14 So Strong (Urban AC Mix) [3:28]