Friday, 20 February 2009

Bostick - It's Not So Easy - 2003 - Juewett Bostic Productions

Juewett Bostick has a healthy recording pedigree that stretches back to Gary Bartz’s "Music Is My Sanctuary" album. He has since recorded, composed, produced and performed with artists such as Vanessa Williams, Barry White, Johnny Gill, Norman Connors, Norman Brown, The Temptations, Sister Sledge, Grover Washington Jr, Hubert Laws, Nancy Wilson, Thelma Houston and Tisha Campbell just to mention a few. This is a serious résumé where soul and jazz music fans should be concerned. What this CD reminds me of is the superb Gerald McCauley "The McCauley Sessions" CD (see my 90s reviews) on which the spotlight is on quality music. In fact, this man’s direction is on par with the legendary Norman Connors - who co-produced this set! Ali-Ollie Woodson is one of my favourite singers and all I can say is that if you loved his solo album you will love the excellent "You Need Love". This classy, classy midtempo song is but one of 6 new songs to savour and it would be on the strength of this song alone I would recommend a purchase of this CD. Furthermore, Denise Stewart delivers a great midtempo groover in the form of "It’s Not So Easy" - the voice of this Lady can be heard distinctly within the jazzy arrangement of "Elsi n’ Me"

The track that raised interest on quality soul radio in 2003 is the towering duet between Ali Woodson and Jean Carn, "What Will I Do". This is a strong song and it’s a heady mixture of soul and jazz – Bostick’s guitar work here takes me back to the splendid Eric Gale on his "Island Breeze" album (1983) thus perfectly fusing the raw soul talent of Woodson and Carn with the jazzy guitar. Denise Stewart pops up on the 80s sounding "Forever More" and gives a splendid vocal performance. I particularly like the 80s-orientated synths in the backing so this satisfies in many ways. There is more than just music on this double CD - disc 2 is a CD ROM! This features multimedia and MP3 tracks that are NOT on the music CD. This interactive CD includes two MP3 tracks "All The Way Down" which is a funky jogger recorded in 1989 with Denitria Champ (who worked with the Temptations on 2004's "Legacy" CD) on vocals. For me this is the better out of the two songs but "Posse Ride" is still a good effort again featuring Denitria and is mixed by none other than Craig T. Cooper. There are also videos (great to see Ali Woodson in the studio!), sound excerpts and information on all the participant artists on this CD such as Art Webb and Norman Connors. This really makes this a no-risk worthwhile CD to buy.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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