Gerald Veasley – Velvet

Gerald VeasleyGerald Veasley
(Heads Up – 2003)
by John Thompson

First, here is my take on Gerald Veasley: my first-round draft choice, number four overall, I picked seven years ago that still only averages 10 points per game. Had highs of 44, 43, and 39(six times) but all were against team loses of over 20 points. I’m still waiting on the potential to surface.

Seems to me that too many Contemporary Jazz Artists employ too few musicians on their CD releases, instead choosing programmed electronics. But Smooth Jazz Bassist Gerald Veasley has gone opposite of that trend, employing 18 vocalists and instrumentalists (not including 2 drum programmers) on 14 tracks. I prefer to listen to actual instruments (true groove) over programmed beats and synthesized sounds, and this release does well in that respect.

There are some nice grooves (“Coup Deville, Let’s Do It Again, Luscious, Velvet, Still Movin’ On) some “blue light mood” (“Forever, It’s Alright-Tonight’s The Night, Home”), the Groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon-like “Sarah’s Song,” and yes, there is some funk (Put on Your Sunday Clothes, Bread Puddin’)

This CD definitely owns more of an urban feel that smooth jazz-ers would find a pleasure to have in the car during a nice outing. The solos are average, as is lots of the material, and there are no “big names.” Nothing really grabs me, but smooth jazz-ers will probably give this one about 4 stars. I take away ½ for not combining “Sunday Clothes with the reprise and making it into one big ‘Funk Fest.’

I have seen Veasley in live settings, and I know that he’s got a lot more to offer than what he has on this and other releases. Next time, GIVE IT UP!!!