Midnight Jazz

Movin’ Melvin Brown will leave you swooning on ‘Love on My Mind’

July 17, 2008
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Reviewed by Vivian Fields

Movin’ Melvin Brown/Love on My Mind

Movin’ Melvin Brown is not Al Green, and neither is he Otis Redding. However, at times you might not be able to tell the difference. It’s not that Brown is consciously imitating those soul legends; he’s just coming from the same state of mind. Who knows how musicians such as Brown are able to sing so beautifully, to project their feelings in such a powerful way that we are left swooning. “My Summer Love” is a poem set to music, a slow, relaxing groove which allows Brown the freedom to make his voice soar, reaching the heavens above. Wow.

This is one of those CDs that, upon hearing it, you want to see the artist perform live. Can Brown sing like this in concert? Most likey as there doesn’t seem to be any studio trickery here. For more authenticity, Brown is actually from the tail end of the soul-music years that he is paying homage to here. During the ’70s, Lionel Richie and the Commodores used to open for Brown’s show band. Imagine that! At 14 tracks, and nothing dipping below the four-minute mark, this album is a genuine bargain, and Brown is one of a kind, definitely.



Lea Jones is playfully sexy on “Lucky Boy” single

March 3, 2008
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Reviewed by Vivian Fields

Lea Jones/”Lucky Boy”

The promotional CD I received for Lea Jones actually had several cuts; however, with only “Lucky Boy” commercially available at this point, let’s focus on that and save the rest when a full length or at least an LP has been released. In case you haven’t seen her, Lea Jones is a stunningly beautiful brunette, a model-level looker. You give her a record as toe-tappingly catchy as “Lucky Boy,” and it probably won’t be long before she takes off. Featuring rapper Mike Pye, “Lucky Boy” is an infectious R&B number with funky acoustic guitar, sparkling keyboards, and, of course, Jones’ smooth and playfully sensual voice.


Posted in R&B, Soul
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Vinny St. Marten is New York’s best-kept secret

February 27, 2008
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Reviewed by Vivian Fields

Vinny St. Marten/Blindness Is a State of Mind

In a better world, Vinny St. Marten is performing before a crowd of adoring millions, seduced and mesmerized by his blue-eyed crooning. Then again, it’s never too late, isn’t it? Label him as New York’s best-kept secret, and it’s been that way too long if you read his history on the web. Actually, on this EP Marten will beat you to that as he, with the heartfelt warmth of a grandpa and the dramatic tone of a professional storyteller, shares some of those stories with you. The first one, “Think About It (Roy’s Song),” dates back to decades past but sadly is still relevant in these times. As a young blind man, racism absolutely made no sense to Marten as he had no sense of color to begin with. But his friendship with a black boy named Roy attracted bigoted dismissal from his peers. The track, part spoken-word diary, part classic soul, cuts deep; the emotionally reflective piano gives it a cinematic backdrop, and this is probably the best use of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech ever.

Marten leaves behind social commentary on “Please Let Me Be Your Eyes,” a love song with longtime partner Elysa Sunshine. Hearing Marten’s husky voice swimming alongside Sunshine’s silky smoothness makes for a gentle, sun-soaked message. Although there are only three cuts on this EP, they are all memorable and lovable, written with a profound degree of nostalgia and wisdom.


About author

Julian Wilson, Editor, has been writing about different genres of music, from jazz to techno, for nearly two decades in print.