Hailing out of her 'adopted' home, Atlanta, vocalist Tammy Allen creates what she calls 'feel good music' and this her fourth album is certainly testimony to that statement. Citing influences which range from George Duke through to Nina Simone, the album contains lyrically mature compositions which though covering a number of musical genres are always soulful. As Ms Allen herself admits, she has now reached the age where writing music about 'love matters' when she has a stable marriage and family is no longer the most important aspect of her life Thus this album concentrates on subject matter that is a commentary on life in a somewhat chaotic world.
The funky 'Don't let nobody hold you back,' in which vocals are shared with James Powell, is just one track that focuses on the need to think positively on things and believe in the power of your thoughts and determination to succeed despite all of the challenges. Whilst the whole album is musically consistent throughout, the tracks 'Glide' and 'I am Free' raise the bar, both featuring melodic jazzy electric piano solos from album co-producer Leeland Davis and vocals from Tammy that explore her full range of prowess. Indeed, as 'I am Free' builds into a Latinesque conclusion and Ms Allen lets us know that all she wants to do is sing before launching into some wonderful scatting, you have a rare moment where a recording captures the joy of an artist doing something that she really wants to do; and artist who wants us all to know that life is really pretty good despite everything. Of course whilst 'love matters' do come to the fore with the sensually soulful 'What am I Gonna Do.' which tackles the problem of two people still very much in love but wondering how they can bring the initial excitement of a relationship back into their lives; it is positivity and a love of life which are the main themes.
Supported by a tight rhythm section playing real instruments and a clean no nonsense production, this album delivers to those who like their soul with a touch of jazz mixed with a vocal delivery which is delivered around interesting chord structures and perfect diction. Sometimes the best can be so minimalistic and this album is a fine example of just that. Enjoy!
A JL REVIEW