One wonders why a singer like Phil Perry is assigned to general jazz.
For me, he is the embodiment of classic R&B. At festivals and also
in recordings he worked often with representatives of smooth jazz.
So you can listen to this singer on Najee's The Smooth Side Of
Soul or Rising Sun, Alexander Boynton Jr.'s Doo
Bee Doo Bop or A. Ray Fuller's The Weeper.
Phil has already recorded numerous solo
projects. Since 2006 he is connected with Shanachie Entertainment.
His newest album Say Yes was released Mar 12, 2013 and
produced by Chris "Big Dog" Davis, who collaborated with Phil on all
five Shanachie releases. “As always, when working with Big Dog
(Davis), we try to address all the relevant directions relating to
the material,” explains Perry. “We try to keep the classic essence
while allowing me to be the artist that I am. What that means is
singing the melody without it being sterile, inserting new
background ideas and different instrumentation to contemporize the
sound without removing the essence of classic R & B.”
Sam Cooke wrote You Send Me in the prime of his youth.
Perry shows just what you can get out of such a piece. Starting in a
classic approach, he continues the song in a Marvin Gaye way.
With the enchanting Chanté Moore he
pairs on Where
Is The Love? Originally recorded by Roberta Flack and Donny
Hathaway carries this version also the splendor of immortality.
Tonight Just Me And You features Najee's
sensitive soprano sax. The use of auto tune is probably due to the
fashionable aspect of time. This also applies to the technical voice
changes of the background singer Donnell Smallwood on You Belong
To Me. This is the difference between classic and urban
R&B, we have to accept. Phil and
Chris "Big Dog" Davis are renowned
experts in the classic R & B style. Their joint creation
you can hear it clearly on. Arrangement, intonation, melody,
everything is right in place.
With Just A Little Bit, they go a different way,
moody like a film noir. The inclusion of a piece like The
Long and Winding Road is certainly owed to the commercial
success of the album. Perfectly interpreted it can however
contribute little to the overall atmosphere of this project.
There can Phil develop better on his own compositions such as
Peel The Veil and Can't Hide Love. Najee creates on
his flute a true miracle. Simon
Bridge Over Troubled Water
is a nice way to finish. I especially like the chorale approach.
With his album Say Yes Phil Perry belongs to the guardians of
the classic R & B. We love him for it.