David Nathan is my hero, but not for the reason you may expect. Sure, he was an excellent writer for Blues & Soul magazine during its heyday and also contributed to Billboard, the music industry bible. Sure he created soulmusic.com, one of the first major soul music sites on the web. And sure he's helped the careers of several soul music greats over the past several years through his writings, especially as some of the world's greatest artists are effectively persona non grata on pop and R&B radio.
No, David Nathan is my hero because he's done what millions of music lovers have only thought about. He's released his dream album. My wife has teased me for years about my latent desire to be the "5th Top," or that I have my future dream solo album completely set in my head, with the songs, producers and musicians picked out. Well, David had the dream...and he has pulled it off in style. Reinvention is the new disc, released on his own Nefer Music label, and for it he has carefully selected a wonderful group of jazz vocal classic songs. In addition, he has gathered a top notch set of contributors, including long-time soul producers Preston Glass and Giovanni Imbesi, smooth jazz saxman Najee, and the Sweet Inspirations on backing vocals. It is a solid album and is musically quite interesting -- not what you'd expect for the first album from a person known more for his writing than his singing. Congratulations David! Be sure to check out the song clips on his site.
It's a great story and an inspiration to the rest of us "armchair singers." Hmmm. Maybe I'll give Levi Stubbs a call after all...
By Chris Rizik