Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ray, Goodman and Brown - Intimate Moments - 2002 - Orpheus

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from these chaps after a gap of 15 years and the tragic loss of the angel-voiced Harry Ray. We needn't have worried as it was indeed a most pleasing album that was predominantly ballad-orientated but with a few nasty rap cuts thrown in for some daft, obscure reason. Some songs on here have obviously been recorded a few years ago so there is a definite early 90s feel to the songs but the rest is definitely more recently recorded. All songs feature the return of Mr. Kevin Owens and this is very welcome indeed. The Billy Sheppard-produced KILLER opening song, "Stay", which is still a favourite spin of mine, 6 years on. This is exactly the quality of material that established groups such as this ought to be doing today. There are a more cover versions on here – the majority of them very good indeed – take Gary’s "Rockin’ You Tonight" and James Ingram’s "Any Kind Of Love" which are winners. Shy away from “Girls” though! Trust me!

In fact, "Any Kind Of Love" is really a superb effort and is more an exquisite interpretation than a straight cover. This I like, as I adored the Thom Bell / James Ingram original so this is a step to the left and not an attempt to better it. Quite excellent. The clear Rhani Song (Kingdom) productions of "Give Me Your Love" and "This Is The Last Time" are other firm favourites and are examples of a first rate modern vocal group effort for 2003. The mega-talented Marion Meadows appears on "Girl I Want To Be The One" and Najee adds his sax to this CD on the gorgeous "Someone’s Missing You" each artist instantly recognisable and reminding us how well soul and jazz can merge into one superior sound. Blue Magic’s Ted Mills adds his production skills to the lovely ballad "Long Gone" which is very good indeed, and Billy Sheppard returns from "Stay" and works his magic on the falsetto-led killer "My Shining Star", making this album a top-drawer all round and worthwhile purchase. Please do not overlook this album and track it down if you can.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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