Drew Schultz - Back To Class

Drew Schultz
Drew Schultz Back To Class.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Back to Class is a fitting title for drummer and percussionist Drew Schultz’s debut CD, as he looks more like a college professor than a writer and producer of classic-styled Soul songs. But he proves the old maxim that one should definitely not judge a book by its cover.  

Benefiting the band programs of the Detroit Public School system, Back to Class came to fruition after Schultz, who studied at The Berklee College of Music in Boston and Jazz at New York University, spent a year honing his song writing skills before moving to Detroit to tour with the legendary Four Tops. Originally intending to record his own compositions, Schultz opted instead to write for the very artists with whom he was working.  

Back to Class is a fitting title for drummer and percussionist Drew Schultz’s debut CD, as he looks more like a college professor than a writer and producer of classic-styled Soul songs. But he proves the old maxim that one should definitely not judge a book by its cover.  

Benefiting the band programs of the Detroit Public School system, Back to Class came to fruition after Schultz, who studied at The Berklee College of Music in Boston and Jazz at New York University, spent a year honing his song writing skills before moving to Detroit to tour with the legendary Four Tops. Originally intending to record his own compositions, Schultz opted instead to write for the very artists with whom he was working.  

Back to Class is very much a tribute to the sound of Motown, overflowing with delightful melodies and clean-cut funk numbers. Schultz not only composed and produced the majority of the songs, with additional horn arrangements by renowned keyboardist McKinley Jackson, but also drafted in an abundance of musical legends to helm is debut effort. The roster of participants includes Northern Soul favourite Pat Lewis, former Funk Brothers member Dennis Coffey, and Ken Knox of Chairmen of The Board, who adds his vocal magic to the Invictus sounding, “So Many Fish in the Sea.”

Also worthy of mention are the easy flowing and almost stately “Sometimes,” sung by the sublime voice of Rob Carter, and the two-stepper and doo-wop sounding “Not Enough,” featuring golden voiced Ronnie McNeir sound-alike, Chris Ams.                       

Schultz’s epic soul sonnet finally reaches its closure with two songs featuring his musical idols, The Four Tops. “Crying in a Whisper,” the first song recorded for this project and its leadoff single (with lone remaining original Tops member Duke Fakir at the lead), is a glorious and cheerful, horn-drenched affair that dances in the memory long after the finger clicks and gorgeous guitar fills have ebbed away. Whilst the irresistibly catchy “What I’d Do for You” is  reminiscent of The O’Jays' “Used to Be My Girl,” with Tops member Ronnie McNeir taking the lead with his sumptuous and unmistakeable voice .

While Back to Class may not appeal todays R&B paramours, it will successfully take  mature audiences back in time to a place where glorious harmonies and joyous melodies once reigned supreme. And it is happily ironic that this enjoyable, nostalgic trip is led by the college student Schultz, who may be too young to have experienced the Motown era real time, but shows he has both  a keen sense of musical history and strong craftsmanship as a musician.  Highly recommended.

By Garry Moran

 

 
Choice Cut - Gary Palmer - "Let's Ride"
Song of the Month - Acantha Lang - "Lois Lang"
Album of the Month - Will Downing - "The Song Garden"
Choice Cut - Will Preston - "Never Knew Love"

Leave a comment!