First Listen: Az Yet's Marc Nelson takes a jazzy turn

Philadelphia-born Marc Nelson is probably best known by audiences at large for his silky vocals on ‘90s R&B quintet Az Yet’s sensual ballad “Last Night” and memorable cover of Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” His history in the music business, however, extends far beyond that chapter. His first solo album was released on Capitol Records in 1991, the title track being a simultaneously faithful and distinctive cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You.” His writing and production credits over the subsequent two decades span the catalogs of artists such as Toni Braxton, Jon B., Brandy, Tyrese, and Freddie Jackson.

Philadelphia-born Marc Nelson is probably best known by audiences at large for his silky vocals on ‘90s R&B quintet Az Yet’s sensual ballad “Last Night” and memorable cover of Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” His history in the music business, however, extends far beyond that chapter. His first solo album was released on Capitol Records in 1991, the title track being a simultaneously faithful and distinctive cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You.” His writing and production credits over the subsequent two decades span the catalogs of artists such as Toni Braxton, Jon B., Brandy, Tyrese, and Freddie Jackson.

Following several low-key releases on the R&B spectrum in recent years, Nelson now shifts his performance focus to a jazzier stance, taking on yet another classic: Donny Hathaway’s “Sack Full of Dreams.” As with his previous covers, Nelson makes this occasion a notable one by not trying to duplicate the tone of the original, but simply injecting a no-frills treatment that is at once his own style and universal in approach.

Accompanied by bassist Christian McBride, drummer Jerome Jennings, and pianist Ray Angry, Nelson’s version of “Sack Full of Dreams” is a calming listen, colored in with realism and hope. Check out the lyric video below, and welcome back Marc Nelson to the spotlight.

by Justin Kantor

Marc Nelson - "Sack Full of Dreams"

 
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