Thursday, April 23, 2020

CD Review: Anthony Jefferson, "All I Am"

I am excited to share a new CD "All I Am" just released by Anthony Jefferson.  I received the review copy of this CD a while ago and only had time to preview a few of the songs.  I thought Jefferson's singing and the playlist were excellent but never got a chance to get back to it until I found myself thinking about the few songs I had heard only once so I decided to play the complete CD.  This time I fell in love with Anthony Jefferson's voice and vocialist skills.  Jefferson has a silky smooth Baritone voice and his phrasing is surpurb.  His vocal range spans several octaves from beautiful deep tones to crystal clear upper tones.   Noteworthy is his effort to sing the lyrics not only with emotion and understanding but with clarity, always making sure to never cut off the end of any words.  Anthony Jefferson is truly an example of a professional Vocalist who has studied hard to learn his trade and now is singing at the highest professional level.  At times his voice and phrasing reminds me of Nat King Cole and certainly adds to the enjoyment of his singing.

Jefferson's life experiences have left a strong mark on his singing personality.  Born and raised in New Orleans, he was singing as soon as he could talk.  He studied piano from the age of five to thirteen and attended a high school that had the best band in New Orleans.  After graduation from high school, Jefferson headed to Los Angeles to find his place in the entertainment business.  He enrolled in Los Angeles City College where he took classes in musical theater as well as the standard academic coursework.  He supported himself by working for UPS when not in classes.

Next stop was to audition for the internationally renowned California Institute of the Arts.  He was awarded a full scholarship.  He began his studies in the Classical music department and then transferred to the Jazz department where he excelled.  After two years at (CalArts) a dean suggested that the next step for Jefferson's growth should be the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

After completing two years at Berklee College of Music,  Jefferson moved back to New Orleans and opened a highly successful restaurant that hosted Jazz jams.  During the next several years while operating his restaurant, he continued performing and studying to improve his singing skills.  After several years of hard work, Jefferson decided that it was time to leave the restaurant business and take a well-earned vacation.  He loved sailing and one of the places he sailed to was the Dominican Republic where he fell in love with the lifestyle and culture.  It was during his 10-year stay in the Dominican Republic that Jefferson met multi-instrumentalist Corey Allen.  This friendship resulted in the creation of the "All I Am" CD.  Corey Allen put together spectacular String and Horn arrangements that amplify Jefferson's innate warmth and soulfulness.

Anthony Jefferson has been a major star in the Dominican Republic and now with the release of "All I am" he deserves to become a recognized star throughout the US.

1. "All I Am"
2. " Marnie"
3. "Besame Mucho"
4. "Night And Day"
5. "Willow Weep For Me"
6. "Summertime"
7. "Impossible"
8. "Rainy Night In Georgia"
9. "Me and Mrs Jones"
10. "In the Presence of"
11. "You've Got A Friend"

Anthony Jefferson- Vocals, Producer
Corey Allen- Piano, Keys, Arrangements
Federico Mendez- Guitar
Pengbian Sang- Bass
Esar Simo- Bass
Guy Frometa- Drums
Sly De Moya- Drums, Percussion
Tom McCauley- Guitar, Percussion

Special Guests:
Mark Rapp- Trumpet
Patricia Pereyra- Vocals
Gustavo A. Hostos- Vocals
The Corey Allen Strings:
Milena Zivkovic, Igor Vasiljevic, Zvezdana Radojkovic
The Corey Allen Horns:
Ernesto Nunez, Pedro Liberato-Trumpet
Sandy Gabriel- Alto Sax
Jesus Abru- Tenor Sax
Gabriel Parra- Baritone Sax
Carlos Torres- Trombone

Background Vocals:
Sabrina Estepan, Benny Hiraldo, Emmanuel Pena, Fende Sincere

This CD includes an eclectic list of songs from the Great American Songbook, pop music, R & B and the movies and picking just two cuts from this CD was difficult.   I settled on two "YouTubes" for you to listen to. The first is "Willow Weep For Me" and the second is "Besame Mucho" where Anthony is joined by the wonderful vocalist, Patricia Pereyra.


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