Regina Belle - Lazy Afternoon (2004)

Regina Belle
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In July 2004, Regina Belle released her second Peak CD, Lazy Afternoon, an album of Jazz and Soul standards produced by George Duke.  The disc is the most difficult vocal challenge of Belle's career and serves as a real test of her interpretive skills.  She mostly passes the test on the album, as her covers of the title track, the swingy "What Are You Afraid Of" and the classic Sinatra ballad "Fly Me to the Moon" are effective, if not definitive.  She is clearly more comfortable and engaging on the Soul cuts on the disc, especially a medley of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' "The Love I Lost" and the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You," with gorgeous backing vocals by Detroit group Perri.  Her cover of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" is also solid, only marred slightly by odd backing percussion. 

In July 2004, Regina Belle released her second Peak CD, Lazy Afternoon, an album of Jazz and Soul standards produced by George Duke.  The disc is the most difficult vocal challenge of Belle's career and serves as a real test of her interpretive skills.  She mostly passes the test on the album, as her covers of the title track, the swingy "What Are You Afraid Of" and the classic Sinatra ballad "Fly Me to the Moon" are effective, if not definitive.  She is clearly more comfortable and engaging on the Soul cuts on the disc, especially a medley of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' "The Love I Lost" and the Isley Brothers' "For the Love of You," with gorgeous backing vocals by Detroit group Perri.  Her cover of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" is also solid, only marred slightly by odd backing percussion. 

Overall, while Lazy Afternoon doesn't answer all the questions about Belle's versatility as a song stylist, it is a welcome addition to her discography and should be enjoyed by both her longtime fans and by Smooth Jazz audiences.

 

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