...And Into The LIght...
Deinara | Hamilton, Ohio USA | 07/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the album in which Paul Jackson Jr. stepped out of the shadows of studio-musicianship and into the jazz recording artist light. And I for one, and glad that he did, for he became one of my favorite artists. He is supported on selected songs by some very talented musicians who later became or were already major stars in their own light...Luther Vandross, George Howard, Kirk Whalum, Najee, and George Duke.
I love listening to this music while driving for it is relaxing and makes me feel very warm and mellow. There are only a couple of jarring exceptions, which is why even though it is one of my favorite Paul Jackson albums, I cannot in good conscience give a five star rating.
My very facorite song on the album is "make it last forever". I have always loved the song (the only song by Keith Sweat I could ever tolerate), and in my opinion it is one of those songs that no matter what style you play or sing it in, still comes out lovely. And lovely is exactly the word for it on this album as well. Paul does two versions of it and I adore both equally. Over the years, I have not heard an instrumental rendition of the song done any better. One version of the song begins the album and the "shocking mix" (as far as I am concerned) ends the album. Luther Vandross is one of the background vocalists on both arrangements.
Favorites sandwhiched in-between "make it last.." include: "all for you" a smooth, airy, melodic piece that makes me feel Paul Jackson is playing his music all for me; and "days gone by" a mid-tempo arrangement with a vocal segment repeating the title that is really a part of the instrumentalization of the song rather than a vocal highlight in it.
The pleasure of the album continues with "road to everlasting","this love's on me" with a beautiful, sincere, vocal solo by Tim Owens, and a very nice jazzy rendition of the old African-American spiritual "I want Jesus to walk with me".
It is when the album tries to do funky-uptempo hip that it struggles a bit. Of those arrangements "the way it has to be" is the only one I really enjoy. "New jazz swing" is the most unpleasant, along with "my thang". I find them to be too jarring and they somewhat spoil the mood established by the music early on. The reese's pieces mix of "encino shuffle" actually ends the album, but in my opinion does not even need to be there.
Having said that, the ablum remains a favorite of mine, even after all this time, and I highly recommend it."
One really fine cut
gw | Lansing, NY United States | 06/29/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an uneven album, to say the least. I tracked it down for Make It Last Forever, which is a fine arrangement and a great groove (smooth jazz-ish). A couple of other cuts come reasonably close, but the rest descend quickly into self-indulgent funk. The snippet of Make It Last that you can hear on this page is probably the least interesting moment in the whole five minutes. So, if you want to take a chance, or if you like heavy funk and grooves...here you go."