Teodross Avery - The Diva’s Choice (2009)

Teodross Avery
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An accomplished session musician, Teodross Avery has landed some astounding opportunities performing with a list of leading ladies including Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Shakira, Joss Stone and Dee Dee Bridgewater. These A-list opportunities have led to his latest expedition on The Diva's Choice - a tribute to his dedicated hardcore fan base. At times the album exhibits a saucy lounge gust ("Journey to Paradise"). Other times the music culminates with bedroom magic ("Adult Music").  In his attempts to steer away from conventional traditions, Avery meticulously complements his jazz knowledge with street-smart hip-hop and sultry soul. The seven-minute dance extravagance of "Tryin' to Find the Light," buoyed by Hiro Sanada's house mix, showcases Avery's passion for modern nightlife.

An accomplished session musician, Teodross Avery has landed some astounding opportunities performing with a list of leading ladies including Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Shakira, Joss Stone and Dee Dee Bridgewater. These A-list opportunities have led to his latest expedition on The Diva's Choice - a tribute to his dedicated hardcore fan base. At times the album exhibits a saucy lounge gust ("Journey to Paradise"). Other times the music culminates with bedroom magic ("Adult Music").  In his attempts to steer away from conventional traditions, Avery meticulously complements his jazz knowledge with street-smart hip-hop and sultry soul. The seven-minute dance extravagance of "Tryin' to Find the Light," buoyed by Hiro Sanada's house mix, showcases Avery's passion for modern nightlife. What John Handy did to "Hard Work," Avery implores on the floor grooves of ‘Love with Respect." The Leela James cameo on "Type of Girl" stands out as the strongest track, with its bluesy explorations and flavorful duets with Avery's soaring sax. He does detour into some spotty areas, particularly with the tenuous and languid "Never Let You Go," but even here Avery plays with poise and modesty. With his shuffling of the tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones, and the added touches of a warm, sophisticated production, The Diva's Choice is a convincing work of relevant, innovative contemporary jazz.

Notable songs: "Type of Girl," "Journey to Paradise," "Love With Respect," "She Doesn't See," "Tryin' to Find the Light"

Vocals: 2 stars
Lyrics: 2.5 stars
Music: 3 stars
Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended

By J. Matthew Cobb

 
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