A Gem Of Modern Soul Music!
WILLIE A YOUNG II | Houston, TX. | 04/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Guitarist Ron Smith starts things off nicely with his fluid, ringing intro to "Nobody Knows What You Feel Inside" and the effortless, jazzy flow of this opening song is just one of the many pleasures afforded listeners on this, Maze's last (as of this writing) studio LP. For years these gentlemen have held the banner high for the preservation of 'real music' and true talent and they have an avid supporter in me. I've had the pleasure of seeing Maze live in concert 4 times over the past decade and I've never been dissapointed! These cats ROCK THE HOUSE! and while "Back To Basics" emphasizes their softer, more reflective style, it's still an amazing record. No one sings a ballad with more soul, conviction and ease than the amazing Frankie Beverly and "....Basics" is full of such lovely numbers, in fact two of his best love songs follow one another on this LP, the bass heavy groove "Love Is"(featuring a nice solo by keyboardist Philip Woo) and the progressive jazz/soul of "The Morning After" anwell deserved R&B hit. "Laid Back" is an exemplary funk workout in the best Maze tradition and ends side one on a high note. The jittery, uptempo "What Goes Up" is another winner, but the true centerpiece of this collection is the languid, gorgeous "In Time" which manages to sound both socially relevant and romantic at the same time, it's a beautiful, heartfelt performance. "....Basics" was the last LP of all new material issued by this band is a welcome addition to any music library, regardless of genre. There is truly something here for everybody especailly those who enjoy authentic soul music. This is a modern classic by a criminally underappreciated band."
Great and politically correct
Andre S. Grindle | 08/31/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frankie Beverly has proven to be one of the world's great soul musicians as Maze has always been the masters of soul music. The Song "In Time", I think is one of the best peace song in the world today. If all politicians of this world were to listen to this song, the world would be a better place today. Yes, In Time, we can make this planet a parade."
Maze I Salute You!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 07/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No matter how many yearly issues of Ebony magazine Maze are appearing in it's important for Frankie Beverely and company to keep their face out their due to their genuine commitment to great soulful music and keeping the band together as a touring unit,and a very successful one at that.Like Van Morrison Maze's music has (and still continues) to age very gracefully due to their commitment to their own musical vision over trendiness.And WHAT A GREAT SOUND to maintain!On 1993's 'Back To Basics' Maze continue that great tradition!The early 90's were one of the most difficult times for 70s and 80's era funk and soul artists;new jack swing and pop-house were forcing them all to sound pretty much alike and it became very homogenous.You'll find nothing of that sort whatsoever on 'Back To Basics'.And they start off with one of the most upbeat tunes they possibly could on the phenomanal "Nobody Knows What You Feel Inside". Mostly the album concentrates on the smooth mid tempo style they were always known for,focusing consistantly on their great musicianship.Maze also make time to burn on a couple classic funk tunes "Laid Back Girl" and the sprightly "All Night Long".One thing Maze really challanged the time's R&B world with is the inclusion of the the instrumental "Twilight" which,although a little 80's sounding was really good for the band because it put them into sync as musicians,something they sure never shyed away from.So if your a fan of classic R&B and find this CD in the $1.99 or $5.99 bin (probably the place you'll most likely find this) don't let the date on the CD put you off;this is Maze being themselves and you won't find any of the new jack clishes typical of even older R&B and funk acts of this era on 'Back To Basics'.So this is worth adding to your Maze collection!"