Toni Redd – Straight From The Heart

Toni Redd
Straight From The Heart
(Toni Redd – 2006)
by Carmen Miller

Toni is an old fashioned ‘class act’ who covers a wide range of musical styles with style and conviction. Toni Redd combines traditional jazz, contemporary smooth jazz, classic soul, and Urban rhythm & blues to create her own powerful presence. I particularly liked the opener “My Name is Toni Redd” and “Open Your Love”, as well as the her smooth and sensual rendition of “footsteps in the dark”. Another good track is the bouncy “Talk About It”.

Ms. Redd’s take on the classic “Betcha By Golly Wow” is a bit overly stylized, but it’s one of those songs that is hard to redo. I suspect it would have come off better if she had just felt it, rather than trying so hard to make it her own.

A mix of originals and covers, Straight From The Heart is a bit uneven in its appeal, but on the whole this is a pretty good CD and deserves a listen.

Credits: Ms. Redd has shared concert billing with Gerald Albright, Jonathan Butler, The Rippingtons, Pieces of A Dream, Alex Bugnioin, Angela Bofill, Rick Braun, Everette Harp, The Yellowjackets, Gerald Alston, Stanley Jordan, Brian Bromberg, Steve Cole, Fattburger, Chico Debarge, Pamela Williams, “Maysa”, Warren Hill, Oleta Adams, Kim Waters and The Temptations.