Perhaps the controversy that courts the use of vocals in contemporary jazz is just one of the reasons why great vocal tracks remain something of a collector’s item. Walking a fine line between smooth jazz and what might be best described as smooth soul; such songs are normally characterized by an edgy urban groove or the classically soulful tones of artists such as Anita Baker and Pattie Austin. Of course one exception is Pete Belasco and another is white vocalist Barbie Anaka. From the Pacific Northwest, and adept as a songwriter, pianist, producer, and music educator, Barbie has just released the CD ‘Speechless’ from which the title cut is proving to be something of a radio revelation. A stupendous groove coupled with some stellar backing marks out this seductive song is as the biggest surprise of the musical year so far.
Check back here soon for a complete review of the album ‘Speechless’.