Much as Donny Osmond stormed the charts in 1989 with the George Michael sound-alike "Soldier of Love," Jennifer Paige and her producer have re-created the same scenario via this collection's first offering, "Crush," a song very reminiscent of early Mariah Carey. It is only hoped that Carey will use this as a reminder of what made her voice so engaging upon her entrance into the pop diva arena. Jennifer unleashes a voice with great development potential that holds its own with a solid pop effort, and splendidly provides her own background vocals on most tracks as well. Definitely one of the brighter pop talents to emerge in quite a while. Standout tracks on this fine debut release include the first single "Crush," "Get to Me," "Somewhere, Someday," and the stellar "Let It Rain".
Phillips' 1969 date Sure 'Nuff and its 1970 follow-up, Black Magic – both of them precursors of the modern-day acid jazz sound – are featured on this two-fer release. Sure 'Nuff: The debut set as leader by organist Sonny Phillips is refreshingly free of the usual clichéd funky licks copped off Jimmy Smith and Brother Jack McDuff albums. Very early in his career, the Alabama-born, Chicago-based Phillips trained on piano under Ahmad Jamal, and Jamal's characteristic style remains imprinted on Phillips' loose, easy-flowing solos.
Respected British drummer Simon Phillips has a resume that’s as long as your arm…assuming you have a long arm. Here on his fourth release under the Protocol title he once again is performing with Greg Howe, Ernest Tibbs and Dennis Hamm. Together they’ve created fifty-eight minutes of some of the finest instrumental Fusion music I’ve heard in a long time. Most of these tunes are longer, in the six to eight minute range allowing for a great mix of combo performance and soloing. After all, this is a genre and an album that showcases performance and instrumental virtuosity, and on Protocol 4 we get plenty of both.