Sunday, March 15, 2015

CD Review: Sweet Lu Olutosin "Sweet Lou's Blues"

Jazz singer Sweet Lu Olutosin has just released his first CD, "Sweet Lou's Blues" with the Antonio Ciacca Quintet.  Sweet Lu heard the Antonio Ciacca Quartet when the band was playing at the Blues Alley Jazz Club in Washington D.C.  He fell in love with the original Antonio Ciacca's compositions and his live performances of material from Henry Mancini, Harry Warren, Chick Corea, Frank Signorelli and Joe Lovano.  He also thought Ciacca's performance was soulful.  After the performance, Sweet Lu and Antonio met and Sweet Lu expressed the desire to record some day with a great band like the Antonio Ciacca Quintet.  A short time later, when Antonio was able to hear Sweet Lu sing, these two great musicians started talking about material, arrangements, personnel and this CD was born.   

During the following months, Antonio played an engagement at "Jazz at Lincoln Center" that was a tribute to the Soul Jazz of the 50's performing the music of the Adderley Brothers, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson, Donald Byrd and Horace Silver.  With this music still in his head, Antonio proposed a set list of the same soulful grooving music of the 50's but with lyrics yet to be written.  Six months later Antonio and Sweet Lu were is the studio cutting the CD.

Sweet Lu Olutosin has a deep rich wonderful voice that will remind his listeners of Joe Williams, Joe Henderson and the best of the big band singers of the 50's.  But Sweet Lu brings his own current style to the CD and added some clever musical touches to the playlist.  He has a great voice and he knows how to deal with a lyric.  The playlist that is on the CD would be no easy assignment even for the most experienced and skilled singer but Sweet Lu mastered it all.

The CD has 9 cuts and Antonio did all the marvelous arrangements.  He also wrote three of the songs on the CD: "Logos Blues", "Baron 5" and "Sweet Lu".  His quintet was outstanding thanks to the efforts of Tivon Pennicott on Sax and Flute, Jeremy Pelt on Trumpet, Mike Carn on Bass and Jerome Jennings on Drums.  This is a beautiful Jazz CD that pays tribute to the Jazz greats of past years and yet puts out modern sounds that will truly satisfy any Jazz lover.

1. "Malcom's Song" (Theme for Malcom)                  2. "Every Day I Fall in Love"
3. "Those Lagos Blues"                                               4. "Call Him Blackjack"
5. "Let's Go Drifting"                                                  6. "Nancy With The Laughing Face"
7. "The Baron"                                                             8. "Be My Mamacita"
9. "Sweet Lou's Blues"

I was able to find a "YouTube" on Sweet Lu singing "Malcom's Song".  Once you listen to this cut you will want to buy the complete CD.   It will give you hours of great listening pleasure.

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