In the same vein that Amel Laurrieux launched her solo career after Groove Theory, so has Nicole Willis. Willis' voice is sultry and smooth with an obvious touch of old wave funk. It's no wonder acts like Leftfield have found her perfect for doing vocal work with their electronic backdrop. With her debut solo album, Soul Makeover, Willis sets herself apart from her younger days known as "Buba Diva," and shows that she has the potential to simply be the latter of the two words. Her husband, recognized producer Jimi Tenor, helped produce the album and makes his presence known by his stamp of clean and well put together jazz instrumentals matched with electronic elements.
This collection on the U.K.'s Soul Brother imprint is a very compelling look at a big slice of Freddie Hubbard's long career as a leader, and one that gets ignored for the most part. Hubbard recorded over 20 records between Backlash, his Atlantic debut in 1966, and Ride Like the Wind for Elektra in 1982, with lengthy stops at Columbia and CTI (as well some straight hard bop and post-bop outings for labels Fantasy and Pablo). In many cases, some of these original recordings were not only disregarded by more traditional jazzheads, they were regarded with outright hostility. It didn't matter to Hubbard, however, because at the time, these were among his best-selling albums and connected with the public deeply.
In terms of harmony nobody can compete Waters. You can hear it on the starter Dreaming Of You. He even skillfully integrates improvisations. Perfect is also his way of overdubbing, which he often love to use in the field of bridges. On A Mission is a good example. Inimitable are his ballads like Stay Together, on which his silky voice starts sounding in addition to the saxophone. Slack and easy it goes on Go-Go Smooth. This character is supported by the shuffle beat. Anything You Need features Kim Water's wife Dana Pope, who has already been involved in several of his projects. A true vocal enrichment. If everything is in the right place as on Cruising Round Rock, you should just sit back and enjoy it. John Legend's tender ballad All Of Me is implemented in all excellence by Waters. A good reminder to buy Legend's wonderful album. The highly talented and gorgeous vocalist Zendaya shines on Fireflies spellbinding the audience with her outstanding voice. With Let's Make Love Waters endows the lovers with a dreamy affectionate ballad.
A few seconds of spacy echo loops and you know where this album is coming from – the early jazz/rock era, the Age of Aquarius and all that. Yet this crazy amalgam of jazz, rock, electronics, and spoken astrological advice by the popular Los Angeles DJ Rick Holmes actually works, for the music behind the soulfully intoned words is very inventive and Holmes plays effectively off its rhythms.