Title - 'Soul Stories'
Artist - Blake Aaron
For those not in the know, Blake Aaron has already scored Top Five Billboard airplay hits with his Latin flavored single "Encantadora," featuring Najee on the flute, the soulful jazz tune "You're The One For Me," featuring vocalist Spencer Day, and the slamming old school jam "Groove-O-Matic."
Aaron also released as singles, the Latin dance romp "Sol Amor" and the mid-tempo R&B romance "You're My Miracle." Indeed, his brand new album Soul Stories' latest single, "Wes Side Story," is a spirited 60's soul jazz excursion that takes Aaron (cleverly) back to one of his key guitar influences, the great Wes Montgomery.
Sure, fans of Blake Aaron have heard some of the songs / tales on Soul Stories over the airwaves these past few years, but what better way to now hear them, but in the same place, at the same time. Kicking off with the quite-brilliant, foot-tappin' catchy "Groove-O-Matic," that leads beautifully into the delightful "Wes Side Story," which in turn bleeds into both the flavorful flamenco-cored "Sol Amor" and the slower paced, and reworked "Europa." Reimagined as a bluesy cross between the Gato Barbieri and Santana versions and opening with a rich orchestral intro with a beautiful nylon string guitar, it is, for sure, one of the stand out tracks here on this new album.
The well-known "You're the One for Me" (featuring Spencer Day) is next, and is followed by a simmering, and yet at times soaring "Story Of The Blues." This full-length collection also features several new tracks, including the Hall & Oates 70's pop/soul classic "Sara Smile," which may just be my second favorite version of it (the first, obviously, being the original). "Story Of My Life" is a balmy atmospheric South American fusion of Argentine tango and Brazilian vibes, and that is backed by "You're My Miracle" and then, the album comes to a close with "Encantadora" (featuring Najee).
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