Juewett Bostick - It's Not So Easy: The Dave Rideau Remixes

Juewett Bostick
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In the computer world, they call it being on the "bleeding edge."  That's the term often used for those who are just a little ahead of their time, suffering the pains that often come to pioneers who pave the way for later success that is reaped by others.  Think about all those companies that had mp3 players before Apple came out with the iPod.  When he first released It's Not So Easy in December 2002, Juewett Bostick was certainly on the bleeding edge of music and technology.  A solid soul/smooth jazz disc, Easy was even more notable for the exquisite packaging and interactive elements that came with it, including a companion DVD that featured behind-the-scenes discussions with performers, biographies of contributing artists and information on the genesis of each track, all of which made the overall package fascinating.

In the computer world, they call it being on the "bleeding edge."  That's the term often used for those who are just a little ahead of their time, suffering the pains that often come to pioneers who pave the way for later success that is reaped by others.  Think about all those companies that had mp3 players before Apple came out with the iPod.  When he first released It's Not So Easy in December 2002, Juewett Bostick was certainly on the bleeding edge of music and technology.  A solid soul/smooth jazz disc, Easy was even more notable for the exquisite packaging and interactive elements that came with it, including a companion DVD that featured behind-the-scenes discussions with performers, biographies of contributing artists and information on the genesis of each track, all of which made the overall package fascinating. Those elements are not unusual in "deluxe" sets by major label stars in 2010, but for an indie artist in '02? Well, let's just say not everyone understood.

Fortunately, Bostick refused to give up on the project and in late 2009 decided it was time to re-introduce It's Not So Easy to the world, but with a crisp, updated sound. Enter engineer Dave Rideau (Janet Jackson, Sting) and six months later the result was It's Not So Easy: The Dave Rideau Remixes.  And while the changes Rideau made to the original version of Easy are not dramatic, that's okay.  Bostick had already put together an excellent Quincy Jones-style producer album that deserved a much bigger audience than it received the first time around.

There are still a few spots where technology plays a little too big a role on Easy (such as the synthetic orchestration on "Precious Love"), but there are way more highpoints.  The late Ali Woodson shines on his one-take version of "You Need Love," Jean Carn is at her sensual best on a cover of the Eagles' "I Can't Tell You Why," and Denise Stewart is glorious on her jazzy version of the standard "You Go To My Head," arguably the disc's high point.  And Bostick does his thing on two strong guitar-led instrumentals, "Elsi N' Me" and the original disc's moderate radio hit, "Kellie's Theme."

The interactive elements from the original disc are now available online at www.juewettbostick.com and YouTube, but the remixed songs certainly stand up on their own, glimmering nicely with Rideau's reworking.  It's Not So Easy was, unfortunately, a correct title for the 2002 disc that didn't get the shake it warranted the first time around.  So it is gratifying to see it get a second chance via The Dave Rideau Remixes to reach adult soul and smooth jazz audiences. Juewett Bostick is no longer on the bleeding edge; but even though music technology has caught up with his project, not too many albums in 2010 have surpassed its musical quality.  Recommended.

By Chris Rizik

 
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