Thursday, 19 February 2009

Leigh Jones - Music In My Soul

You would be forgiven for happening upon this album and assuming that there in your midst was yet another X-Factor, Pop Idol or whatever TV talent show generated artist but you could not be further from the truth. Leigh Jones is much more than that. She is no gimmick and no fly-by-night artist squeaking away into their mic with the help of a 'super producer' to program the latest hot R&B chart sounds. Leigh Jones is actually a wonderful – and very beautiful – Lady who came to Peak Records courtesy of a certain Berry Gordy, Jr and his son, Kerry Gordy. For Berry, Leigh is 'the real deal' and who's to argue with this great man?! Leigh possesses a dynamic and expansive voice who can provide smoky jazz as well as soulful vocals which are definitely major league. These artists are rare. I consider Leigh Jones in the same category as singers such as Angela Bofill. This d├ębut album is setting out her stall, and although there is plenty on here of which to rejoice I feel her finest moments are to come, naturally. Lovers of Hill St. Soul, 4 Hero and even Conya Doss will sink into the warm clutches of “Music”- imagine Liberty Silver crossed with Impromp2 and you are almost there! The Motown connection becomes apparent with her able cover of the DeBarge hit, “All My Love”. Vocally Leigh does not stray too far away from the tenor and mode of El DeBarge, and the accompaniment is very much in the Neo-Soul bag. The jazzy “Have It Your Way” smokes away with a lazy rhythm and lilting guitar, muted trumpet and vocal dexterity that no so-called R&B Diva could ever dream about in a million years. Mary J Who?! I believe that the delicious modern number “Free Fall” will give you plenty to wet your appetite. The dreamy keys, acoustic guitar and pounding rhythm whip up a storm, and the 70s styled keys do nought but emphasise Leigh's real talent and the sheer quality of the production. Leigh almost sounds like Carole King, and her co-vocalist on here is a BRILLIANT vocalist called Clark Anderson. Wow! When his CD comes out I'll be first in line! If this is not good enough, go straight to “Who What Why” and savour Leigh's wonderful voice, deeper this time and more poignant for this accusatory groove. Hot on the heels of this is the superb jazzy “The Words You Never Say” which is, musically, in the Me'Na, Liberty Silver or Tracy Hamlin bag. You are really going to love this album and the cherry-picked tracks especially. Leigh Jones does not have to prove her worth to me, and this album should go a long way to placing this Lady on the musical map and hopefully is only the first milestone on a long journey. Talent like this needs to be nurtured, properly handled and appreciated. Don't let the Lady or this album pass you by. Pure class.

Barry Towler

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