Between The Sun And The Moon
(Verve – 2004)
by Carmen Miller
WOW! This is one of the best Brenda Russell albums I’ve ever heard, and that’s saying a mouthful! With guest appearances from Patti Austin and Lee Ritenour Brenda Russel is going to hit the music scene HARD when this CD is released (1st week of October). Make You Smile opens it up with a latinesque bang as Brenda croons and lilts through this gem. Too Cool For The Room oozes coolness with a slower, mellow vibraphone vibe; and Ain’t No Smoke oozes that cool through rumbling bass and keyboard bottoms.
The Message is plaintive and soulful, whereas the title track is classic Brenda with some tribal overtones. I particularly liked When You Comin’ Back To Me, a slower R&B style ballad which is as good as anything you hear from soul divas Jill Scott or Anita Baker. Brenda’s cover of the Smokey Robinson classic The Tracks Of My Tears is well done and pretty, but I prefer the original compositions on this CD.
I’ve GOT to give mention to the jazzy romp It’s A Jazz Day where Brenda does a jazz roll-call. As I said, this is one of her best releases ever. Her spirit and heart and voice are strong and vibrant throughout — and ALL of the tracks are GREAT — and you should have one.