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Album Review: Abstract Truth - Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1

Album Review: Abstract Truth - Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1
Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1
(REAL DEAL - Jazz/Soul/Funk/Slow Jams)


http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/abstracttruthglawrence
http://www.abstracttruthmusic.com

As I listened to this outstanding new release from our friends Abstract Truth, a few thoughts went thru my head...

--What If 6 Turned Out To Be 9? - Rick James and Teena Marie are forever linked together in the minds of anyone who loved the music of either. However the "mass media" has always presented them as Rick ("mentor") & Teena ("protégé.") What if the reality is/was that Teena was actually the one who was more talented?

--Did Teena Marie ever have a conversation with Robin Thicke before she passed? - I dunno if that ever happened, but if it had, I wonder if Teena might have given young Mr. Thicke the following advice?

"If you are going to fool around with Black people's music/culture, you better not be a fool about it. And certainly don't fool around with Marvin Gaye's music, cuz Black folks will never forgive you, for trying to make a fool out of Marvin Gaye..."

My guess is that conversation never took place :(

Rick James & Teena Marie not only "fooled around with Black people's music/culture," they expanded it and did so with both drama & flair.

Right now Black music is doing everything possible to destroy itself and has been doing so for quite a while now. Quite frankly it seems to be on a "suicide mission," and a successful "suicide mission" at that.

IMHO the future of Black music requires us to better understand it's past, learn its lessons and use that knowledge to chart it's future. That is EXACTLY what this album is doing. This album is a part of a small, but growing movement that is trying to save Black music from itself. I see various artists, promoters, radio folks and others across the spectrum of soul/jazz/blues/rap taking the position of moving forward, by looking back, taking stock of our assets (music/cultural legacy) and then using those "assets" as a springboard for moving forward.

--It's happening outside of "knee-gro radio/tv."
--It's happening outside of the "knee-gro elite."
--And it's certainly happening outside of the "twitterverse." It's happening "underground," just as it originally did, outside of the corrupting influences of the "mainstream."

It is all quite exciting, and I applaud ALL of these efforts!!!

This isn't really a "tribute album." Tributes are about the past. This album is really an exploration of a musical legacy, that actually provides us with some direction for the future.

The album, Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1 by Abstract Truth, "fools around" with the music of Rick James/Teena Marie and the end result is outstanding.

--And that is no small feat. The music of Rick & Teena is far more iconic and influential that the mainstream gives it credit for. Therefore that music screams out to be respected in this manner. These songs aren't mere "covers." They channel the original recordings that are etched into our brains. If you are a longtime fan of the musical legacy of Rick James and Teena Marie, all it will take is a single listen to any of the songs on this album to bring both a smile to your face and a tear in your eye (at the same time!)

--If you are new to the music of Rick James & Teena Marie, the album affords you the opportunity to retrace the steps that made their music so essential to the timeframe when it was originally conceived. For example, listening to the Teena Marie songs will also begin to understand just why the current mainstream offerings of so called "blue eyed soul" (ex: Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, etc.) are so weak in both their concept and execution.

Abstract Truth is a Jazz/Funk band out of Philly and on this album, they really let loose and bring home THE FUNK on this album. The musicianship is outstanding, and the vocals are on point. The band has also been touring the east coast of the United States performing these songs live as well. So this is in fact not manufactured, not fake, not conceived by a computer or from the minds of "marketing executives in corner offices"....

IT'S THE REAL DEAL!!!....Here are the songs...

1. You Make Love (Like Springtime)
2. Lover Girl
3. You and I
4. Out On a Limb
5. I Need Your Lovin'
6. Fire & Desire
7. Happy
8. Behind the Groove

The legacy of Rick James and Teena Marie seems to be one that somewhat "suspended in time." The thing that most people seem to want to remember most about them is the beautiful music that they released during the 1980's, a period of time when both as solo artists and as a team, became musical & social icons. I suppose that is to be expected. However both Rick James and Teena Marie continued to grow as artists. In fact their last releases Rick James ("Urban Rapsody" - 1997) and Teena Marie ("Congo Square" - 2007) are true artistic masterpieces, despite relatively poor sales for both. Hopefully since this is just "Volume 1" Abstract Truth will explore more of the Rick James & Teena Marie Songbook in subsequent releases?

In the meanwhile, if you are a Rick James and/or a Teena Marie fan, this album; Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1, is an absolute must have!

I was quite fortunate to have met and interviewed both Rick James and Teena Marie, on more than one occasion. (And I think that they would approve!)

Go to their Abstract Truth's websites for a taste...
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/abstracttruthglawrence
http://www.abstracttruthmusic.com
--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


PRESS RELEASE: Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1 by Abstract Truth Released 2014 Fourstring Records

PRESS RELEASE: Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1 by Abstract Truth Released 2014 Fourstring Records Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1 by Abstract Truth Released 2014 Fourstring Records
See more at: http://www.abstracttruthmusic.com

The newest CD from Abstract Truth, (released 5/20/2014) pays tribute not duplicates the incredible music of Rick James and Teena Marie. The CD entitled "Fire and Desire" The Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie Volume I, is a compilation of songs which had a Hugh impact on the Band. One listen to the disc and you will be transformed back to this incredible era of music. An era that was and still is the bridge between Funk, Punk R&B, soul and Jazz.

Abstract Truth lives on the edge of classification, weaving jazz with soul, R&B and Latin rhythms, rock, gospel, blues, and funk. This musical foundation is the subtle masterful interplay of (Bassist and founding member), G. Lawrence, (Drummer) Zackuri Durham, (Saxophonist) Roy Richardson JR, (Keyboardist) Vince Stith and (Vocalist) Valarie Ford. Abstract Truth manages to create a sound that is at once fresh and familiar. The Band has performed with or recorded for international artist such as Kem, War, George Clinton, Mel'isa Morgan, Roy Ayers, The Ohio Players, Kindred The Family Soul, Angela Bofil, Spur of the Moment, The Temptations, Billy Paul, The Stylistics and Al Green just to name a few. Their latest CD pays tribute to the incredible music of Rick James and Teena Marie. The CD entitled "Fire and Desire" a tribute to The Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie Volume I is available at all music outlets.

"Abstract Truth" burned up the stage at the West Oak Lane Festival at the Keswick on June 21st. G. Lawrence led a group of seasoned musicians and vocalists who flawlessly paid tribute to Teena Marie and Rick James. The audience responded with delight and awe - everyone was clearly moved beyond words. Back stage, one of the Temptations' musicians looked at me and said, wow, this band is no joke - they keep seasoned guys like us on our toes."
--Graziella DiNuzzo-D'Amelio Executive Director LifeLine Music Coalition, Inc.

UP COMING SHOWS FOR ABSTRACT TRUTH:

8/9/2014 - H & H Caterers, Philadelphia, PA
8/30/2014 - BB King's Blues Club and Grill, New York, New York
9/6/2014 - Community Friends & Family Day @ Albany Ave Beach, Atlantic City, NJ

Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1 by Abstract Truth Released 2014 Fourstring Records
See more at: http://www.abstracttruthmusic.com

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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Bob Davis - Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
609-351-0154




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