Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Peter Michael Escovedo - Moments - 2003 - J Muzik

Son of legendary percussionist Pete, and brother of sexy singer Sheila, Peter Michael stepped into the limelight in 2003 with "Moments". And it has plenty of those! This bubbling and heady album is a tasteful mix of soulful jazz with a Latin flavour. Some of this would appeal to more open-minded US radio stations and definitely would hit the spot within Latin quarters within the US. There are a multitude of songs here that are excellent, and so more than merit this CD as a solid purchase. Joining Peter on this album is a tasty tirade of the great and the soulful, and I think you'll agree with me that these good folks can do nought but suggest that the songs on here are pure quality. Bridget Bryant adds her vocal talents and Gerald Albright, Paul Jackson Jr, Wayne Linsey and Ronnie Foster among others pitch in with their individual skills.

The opening song, “I Thank Ya”, is a robust Latin soul effort that begs airplay; not my overall favourite cut but an impressive slice of passionate Latin music nonetheless. The song that will floor a lot of readers will be the superb “It's Up To You” which is in the
Pete Balasco bag with a twist of Kem and Marlon Saunders. The flute, when that appears, takes us to another level. Similarly, the pondering “Sunshine” grabs you with both hands. This song has a more programmed feel, but the basic, stripped down backing, timbales, fender rhodes and Stevie-like harmonica. I can imagine Eric Benét doing something like this. “Circle In A Square Peg” also could be a Benét song from his “A Day In The Life” album, and deserves serious radio play. In the good old days before the lunatics took over the Asylum, records like this would have had exposure and been hits. The uptempo, jazzy “Soulmate” echoes Jeff Lorber in his more soulful moments a la “West Side Stories”. Paul Jackson Jr works very well on this and I only wish he would adopt more material like this on his own albums. What works very nicely is the cool soulful bossa of “Moments”. Those keys take me right back to the early 80s, and Peter's smooth, smooth vocals do nothing but justice to it. I think this is a real gem of an album, and if you like more ardant Latin material then there is also that too.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

Buy from Amazon