Title - 'What Matters Most'
Artist - Sun Soul Orchestra
If you have never heard of Sun Soul Orchestra before reading this article, prepare to hear (and read) a lot more about them from here on in! Sun Soul Orchestra is a project that features a rotating collection of artists performing original music and covers arranged by steadfast duo, Stevo Théard and Ginger Murphy.
Interestingly enough, the first seed of Sun Soul Orchestra was planted when Stevo volunteered to write an arrangement for a string quartet that Ginger was a part of. Stevo’s idea was to combine the string quartet with drums and percussion, and even though Stevo had no experience writing for strings, he dove in and quickly discovered that he had a knack for putting the arrangements together. When they began writing original music together, they became truly inspired, and committed themselves to the project now known as Sun Soul Orchestra.
Their full-length debut album, What Matters Most opens with the R&B flow of 'Can't Deny It,' a track whose lyrical theme encapsulates perfectly the spirit of artists such as James Ingram, Peabo Bryson, George Benson, Smokey Robinson, and others from that genre. 'In My House' is then followed by the towering Rolling Stones cover 'Waiting On A Friend.' A stand alone track here, it would fit perfectly onto any Stones cover/tribute album. The orchestral brilliance of 'Gingerly' (featuring flugelhorn from Michael Hunter) is such a delight to behold, that you truly wish the track would never end. A summer's day work of art, you just close your eyes and are instantly transported to another time, another place.
Having made that previous comment about the Stones cover, Stevo's follow on cover of Bob Marley's 'Waiting In Vain' is just as good, just as solid a piece of work, that it also could fill a slot on any upcoming Marley cover/tribute compilation. The elegantly smooth finger-snapping of 'Find Myself With You' (again featuring Stevo) is next, and is backed by 'Is What It Is,' which is yet another track that is most surely destined for repeat play on everyone's CD players.
The feel of R&B is back again on 'Zoom' (featuring TJ Gibson) and is yet another delight on this full-length debut album. The late 60's, early 70's vibe of 'Pillow Talk' (featuring Shannon Pearson) has to be, for my money, one of the best tracks on the album, and is followed by the delicate, yet echoing resonance of the cello giving way to the lush flute for 'Maybe So' (featuring Katisse Buckingham). The album then wraps up nicely with the sweetly short cut, 'Keep Talkin'.
'Can't Deny It' - CD Baby Digital Single Purchase Link