Kendra Ross - New Voice (2007)

Kendra Ross
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"Got a new voice inside my head/ and it's saying to me/ don't be afraid of what you're feeling." 

With these profound statements, Kendra Ross launches into her first track, the aptly titled "New Voice."  With the incomparable Skoota Warner on drums and a funky guitar pluck courtesy of Christian Ver Halen, Ross sets the pace to take the listener 12 songs deep on a fantastic voyage with her flawless CD, New Voice.  She backdoors that with "I'm So Okay," a track reminiscent of early Atlantic Starr with Ross' Sharon Bryant-esque vocals reiterating to a significant other that in spite of, she can make it on her own.  And these are just the first two songs!

"Got a new voice inside my head/ and it's saying to me/ don't be afraid of what you're feeling." 

With these profound statements, Kendra Ross launches into her first track, the aptly titled "New Voice."  With the incomparable Skoota Warner on drums and a funky guitar pluck courtesy of Christian Ver Halen, Ross sets the pace to take the listener 12 songs deep on a fantastic voyage with her flawless CD, New Voice.  She backdoors that with "I'm So Okay," a track reminiscent of early Atlantic Starr with Ross' Sharon Bryant-esque vocals reiterating to a significant other that in spite of, she can make it on her own.  And these are just the first two songs!

"Real Deal" finds Ross grooving along with a funky mix of musicians jamming as if they are in a high school music class while the teacher has stepped away for a moment.  The sure club banger "Can I Keep It?" is laced with lyrical blessings from hip-hop wordsmiths Talib Kweli and Tiye Phoenix.  And "Send Me Somebody to Love" is perfect for the "Quiet Storm" audience thanks in part to Teodross Avery's saxophone riff.  

In a disc full of highlights, other notables include soul maestro Eric Roberson's duet with Ross on "Why Can't I See?" and the old-school jazz number "Man You Love Blues," complete with a thumping stand up bass that's straight from the of era of Billie and Ella.     

With live instrumentation and heartfelt lyrics, New Voice is a CD that signals the dawning of a new movement in soul music:  the female producer.  Ross co-produced this amazing piece of work along with Ver Halen and if this project is any indication of Ross' talents, expect many great albums to come.   

By Christopher Whaley

 

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