Upscale Music- List 2
11.Roy Ayers:'The Ultimate Collection' (1993,****1/2)
After Lionel Hampton, Roy is 'the man' on the 'vibes'.His music, which is sampled today, fused R&B with Funk and Jazz, and he produced the soundtrack for a classic Pam Grier movie, 'Coffy'.
12.S.O.S.Band:'The Best Of' (1995,****)
This Atlanta-based group proved to be the best vehicle for Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis to present their sleek and smooth production style.The 3 albums from 1983-1986 are the best Flyte Tyme productions for any one group.
13.The Jacksons:'Destiny/Triumph' (1978/1980,****)
Their best post-Motown albums are here, and The Jacksons wrote and produced everything.Great songs like 'Shake Your Body..'and 'Can You Feel It?' are done well.These 2 albums sandwich Michael's 'Off The Wall'(1979), so this is your last chance to hear one of the brothers before they became too big for the group.
14.Diana Ross:'The Boss/diana' (1978/1979,***)
The 'diva' is at her 'mountaintop' here, and you get some of her best vocals on the first album.Ashford & Simpson got the best from Diana, and the hard work paid off.On the 2nd album here, Diana gets 'the Chic sound', while not giving her all vocally, but the hits are here too.
15.Najee:'Tokyo Blue' (1990,***)
This is fluid contemporary jazz from the flutist/saxophonist.You are taken on a smooth ride, and songs like 'My Old Friend' are nice to relax to.
16.Soundtrack:'Waiting To Exhale' (1995,****)
Even though his sound(production) can be quite repetitive at times, Babyface did quite well this time by grouping 'true divas' with some 'young bucks' and writing great songs.Whitney has the spotlight, but we aren't allowed to forget queens Aretha, Chaka, and Patti.Very enjoyable CD, and it might be better than the movie at times.
17.Grover Wasington, Jr.:'Mister Magic/Anthology' (1975/1985,****1/2)
This is some true jazz here, and the raw talent of Grover shines on the first motown album.On the 2nd album, Grover has taken contemporary jazz upward, and songs like 'The Best Is Yet To Come'(w/Patti) are stunning.No, Kenny G is not on this list!!
These 2 CDs present one of the top R&B bands of the 70s and you are treated to smooth vocals by Jeffery Osborne.You can't go wrong, and you get classic slow jams with some fast ones thrown in for good measure.
19.Commodores:'The Ultimate Collection' (1997,****1/2)
This is probably THE BEST group from Motown during the 70s, and we all wish that Lionel would have stayed put.Mr.Richies best songs are here, and there may be a reunion since Lionel is no longer a 'platinum artist'.
20.Me'shell Ndege'ocello:'Peace Beyond Passion' (1996,****)
This is one of the most talented female musicians out there period!! She uses R&B, Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Rock, and some poetry to provide a unique sound.Very underrated!!