Gerald Veasley,
(Heads Up, 2003)

Velvet is a combination of contemporary crossed with the sounds of the '70s, a musical "retro" movement that has created a category called "neo-soul." This was my introduction to this category.

The first track starts with a loud bass bar. Wow! I was hooked. I am a big fan of heavy bass and love a strong bass composition. For me, this CD is divine! Gerald Veasley is so very talented, but an equal amount of talent went into supporting his bass playing with the ideal arrangement of accompanying instruments.

The vocals in "Let's Do It Again" are so retro, I felt like I had stepped back into the '70s. The lead is beautiful and the harmony of the backup vocals is angelic. All the vocal elements of that bygone decade come back to life in this song. I was groovin' to this one and diggin' the sound. (Once you listen to the lyrics, you will understand that comment.)

"Sarah's Song" and "Velvet" are the slow dancing songs to die for. They have the easy, smooth flow and layered instruments. "Velvet" is a bit faster, but it is still a great song for lots of spins and dips at a slow speed. The saxophone and piano set the mood for romance while the bass and drum keep your feet moving. My favorite on this CD is "Put On Your Sunday Clothes." I love the beat, emphatic nature of the bass and the bouncing brass. This is the song that I most enjoy dancing to.

The Gerald Veasley Band consists of Gerald Veasley (six-string bass, tenor bass guitar, guitar), Chris Farr (tenor and soprano saxophones, strings, synth bass), Will Brock (Fender Rhodes, Wurlizer electric piano, grand piano, synth bass, harp), Mark Knox (keyboard, strings) and Richard Waller III (drums, percussion).

The band is joined in these selections by Jaguar Wright, John Stephens, Durell "Bishop" Scott, Warren Cooper and Mikki Kornegay on vocals, Herb Middleton on keyboards and drum programming, Matt Cappy on flugelhorn and trumpet, Jeff Bradshaw on trombone, Randy Bowland on guitar, Donald Robinson on synth solo, synth bass and keyboards, Benji Porecki and Michael Aharon on Hammond organ, Pablo Balista on congas, bongos and percussion, Steve McKee on drum programming and Blizz on drum programming.

I loved every piece in this collection. If you enjoyed the music of the '70s, be order a copy of Velvet. It is a blast from the past that will tickle your soul and get your feet moving in high gear.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 23 August 2003

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