Monday, 22 February 2010

Tour De 4Force - Quiet Moon - 2010

Tour De 4Force 1 is a mighty combination of established talents who lay down a top-quality soul set that is both bright, breezy and fresh. Produced by ex-Cameo member Thomas "TC" Campbell and featuring the vocals skills of Jim Gilstrap, Scherrie Payne, Ex-Emotion Theresa Davis and Pam and Joyce Vincent of Tony Orlando and Dawn fame, Tour De 4Force have set out a stall of 13 tunes for us to savour. What makes this even more of a delicacy is having guests as wonderful as Ali-Ollie Woodson, and Windy Barnes Farrell who simply add the drizzle atop the icing on this cake! Add a list of musicians such as Michael White on drums, Munyungo Jackson on percussion, Ray Fuller on guitar and Aaron Fletcher on sax duties then this bodes to be a very solid album vocally, lyrically and musically. As it is, for sure! My first choice is the BRILLIANT composition, "We Got Love" from the combined pen of Lorrin Smokey Bates, Dean Gant and TC Campbell. This is as good, musically, as anything we would have bought in the early 80s, and vocally we are almost into a Billy Valentine mode! Superb, full of funky guitar licks and vocals reminiscent of the Emotions, this is a strong composition.

A very strong, modern and chunky remake of Rufus' 1979 classic, "Heaven Bound" will garner a lot of radio play I'm sure...featuring the force of nature that is ex-Temptation Ali-Ollie Woodson, this is a great reworking of a classic song and does nothing to ruin the original or belittle itself as a cover either. One of the greatest voices of our time, Ali lets rip and is yet smooth as silk. I understand that this great man has been very poorly..I hope by this that he is on the road to recovery. Ali gives us yet another vocal on the Jim Gilstrreap tune "Four Walls" which would be a strong composition for the Temptations today...if they weren't content becoming an oldies band and sweeping away all the credibility they had reconstituted since their seminal work, "Phoenix Rising". A shame. This is a great track with a great, soulful sax solo from Aaron Fletcher. Great stuff. A few cover versions of note - one which is superb! "Black Butterfly" was a strong Deniece Williams tune from her 1984 album, and the song is given a great 2010 reading here and I strongly recommend it!

One of my all-time favourite Temptations songs is "Just To Keep You In My Life" from their essential "Truly For You" album...the version here is very good but however hard it tries the original cannot be beaten. What impresses me is this track as a choice to cover. It is not your immediate choice for inclusion and they obviously love the song as much as I. The SUPERB "Little Things" with it's roaring sax and Emotions-like feeling makes this song a knock-out! There is a real Jones Girls feeling about this too, and if this isn't enough then I heartily recommend the gorgeous ballad "Early Morning" which simply cannot be missed. A sassy, jazzy vocal and a slinky mid 80s approach with real instruments makes this a must-have. This CD is a real gem and comes highly recommended from me.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe