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Regina Belle is a superior R&B/soul singer with a strong voice, a subtle style (although she can go over the top when it fits the music), and a solid sense of swing and dynamics. What is particularly unusual about this set for the Concord pop subsidiary Peak is the repertoire. Over half of the songs are jazz standards, and it is a particular treat hearing Belle's soulful renditions of such songs as "Lazy Afternoon," "Corcovado," "Moanin'," and "The Man I Love." The music is not really jazz (although it hints at it), but the jazz tunes give Belle an opportunity to stretch both herself and the format a bit. George Duke is a major asset as both a producer and a keyboardist, Everette Harp takes a few tenor and alto solos, and the Perry Sisters contribute some powerful background vocals on half of the tracks.
Performance CreditsRegina Belle Primary Artist,Vocals
George Duke Organ,Piano,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Alex Al Bass,Electric Bass
Oscar Brashear Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Lenny Castro Percussion,Tambourine
Ray Fuller Guitar
Everette Harp Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Christian McBride Bass,Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Lori Perry Vocals,Background Vocals
Dean Parks Acoustic Guitar
Darlene Perry Vocals,Background Vocals
Sharon Perry Vocals,Background Vocals,Coloratura
Gordon Campbell Drums
Diana Moreira Booker Spoken Word
Technical CreditsGeorge Gershwin Composer
Ernie Isley Composer
George Duke Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Bobby Timmons Composer
Jimmy Campbell Composer
Regina Belle Composer,Executive Producer,Vocal Arrangements
Leslie Bricusse Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Jon Hendricks Composer
Marvin Isley Composer
O'Kelly Isley Composer
Ronald Isley Composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Dennis Lambert Composer
John Latouche Composer
Sonny Mediana Art Direction
Jerome Moross Composer
Brian Potter Composer
Mark Wexler Executive Producer
Erik Zobler Engineer
J. Segal Composer
R. Wells Composer
Andi Howard Executive Producer
Mervyn Dash Executive Producer
Harry Woods Composer
Reginald Connelly Composer
Bart Howard Composer
Cyril Ornadel Composer
Russ Freeman Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This CD features George Duke on keyboards,Christian McBride and Alex Al on bass,Ray Fuller and Dean Parks on guitar,Gordon Campbell on drums,Lenny Castro on percussion,Everette Harp-saxes,Oscar Brashear-trumpet,Perri(background vocals). It's a really nice albumt that I know many,many will enjoy. To these fantastic ingredients we may add the super-natural voice and phrasing of Regina.She sings great passion and emotion. And here we have a slice of perfection !!!!
Spellbinding, Stunning,Superb l!!! This is an absolutely stunning album, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Regina Belle's gorgeous, soulful tones are just spellbinding and the album is an absolute joy to listen to.Her voice is unparalleled in the modern age and it has already earned her comparisons with greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, with this album truly showcasing her phenomenal talent. The whole album is bristling with old, beautiful tracks totally re-written, re-invented and re-sung . Her new fresh versions are set to become future classics. Despite her early jazz and gospel influences, this is in no way a niche record. It has a far broader appeal the subtle production, great songs and THAT voice (!) mark 'LAZY AFTERNOON' out as the must-have record of the summer. I was taken on first listen but this album grows each time I hear it, revealing hidden depths. Her exquisite vocal talent is simply unique,warm, rich and engrossing. If you have trouble deciding into which section of your collection this should sit, simply file under "classic" !!
We have been waiting for this album !! With maturity of mind and voice,Belle hopefully is here to stay forever. Funky and jazz effects backing her full bodied voice as it fits and darts trough a variety of great songs and notes,singing and swinging and bluesing that good 'of soul on 'Lazy Afternoon','If I Ruled the World', 'Moanin' , 'The Man I love'. 'Why Do People Fall in Love, which is sure to make its mark on the charts,is definetely the song of the album,with a superlative vocal performance by Belle. Another gem is 'For the Love of You',where she is backed by Soul/Jazz greats like the Perri Sisters and George Duke(Duke is also the master of a magnificent production). LAZY AFTERNOON has the timeless sensibility of soul,the emotion of Jazz Live and the marketability that ensures its place as a popular album Besides,it grows on you literally like a second skin and can be spun endlessly with no monotony.That's just the kind of magic that we look for but rarely find,nowadays.
Regina is a different and reluctant songstress in many ways.She has never been chart-money oriented,she has always tried to give all the best she could. That's why she never imitaded her too popular and over-exposed peers like Celine Dion,Mary J.Blige,Diana Krall,Maria Carey,Natalie Cole..even she posses the same skills. Never liked the spotlight,glitter and glamour,early morning or late night promotional talk shows,and this is maybe the key to her enduring magic. In this album she proves once more her consinstency,her primary links to Jazz,Gospel,Rhythm and Blues. Supported by a stellar production by the one and only George Duke and a band which numbers some of the greatest jazz acts,Belle sings and delivers the same way she used to since her very first debut :great elegance and passion,soulful phrasing,vocal power and subtlety.Now her voice is even more mature and captitating. Gorgeous music from the past roams freely,grows on you at any listen and haunts you forever. Best tracks: WHY DO PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE,FOR THE LOVE OF YOU,LAZY AFTRNOON and many more.. I am pretty sure that we'll be talking about this album for a long,long time as an essential recording,as a classic. Just be patient,do not rush : we'll see.
For those of you yet to experience the famed song-stylist Regina Belle this is by far and away the best place to start. This CD is a true showcase of her talents. With no fillers to make up the right number of tracks, you will hear Regina best at her best. This is how Jazz should be sung, the original songs are taken, deconstructed and then reconstructed with such skill and verve that you wonder how people liked the originals! Regina's first love is jazz, but she has absorbed musical influences from many different genres. This shows in her music, which is jazz-based, but with everything else added into the mix. On this album she sings torch songs, Broadway tunes and jazz standards, but she takes the songs apart and rearranges them in such a way as to sound original. I've heard plenty of rearranged covers by many different singers, but it is rare to find somebody who does it with such consistency. Listen to her version of "For The Love Of You" (the Isley Brothers' song) or "Corcovado" (the A.C.Jobim's classic, known also under "Quiet Nights", which has been covered by lots of people, by Diana Krall as well "Quiet Nights", but never quite like Regina's version). With apparent effortlessness Ms. Belle uses her fantastic, immediately recognizable, throaty pipes and her signature sound to convey a range of emotions. She begins the opening track "Lazy Afternoon" low and smoky, then as the guitar and drums kick in, her voice becomes light and celebratory making way for saxmaster Everette Harp's beautiful solo; she ends the tune on a dramatic wistful note. That's typical of the warm, tasty sound, outstanding playing by all top-notch jazz musicians and inventive arrangements and the splendid production by the one and only George Duke that define the incomparable vocalist's seventh's album. Just brilliant. The only way to hear better is to take in one of her concerts and we cant all be that lucky. P.S. Please, check the track "Lazy Afternoon" on Ms. Vanessa Villiams's "The Real Thing" and on Ms. Ann Hampton Callaway's "At Last" as well. Have your say!!