Phil Perry

A Mighty Love

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In the early 2000s, Shanachie Entertainment enhanced its urban-driven smooth jazz roster with a handful of popular R&B vocalists revisiting the classics of the '70s that somehow never quite go out of style. The label hit creative home runs with Vesta and Miki Howard, and veteran song stylist Phil Perry's cool funk and falsetto vibe were for the most part a perfect match as well. A Mighty Love is a worthy sequel to his 2006 label debut Classic Love Songs, named after his rousing rendition of the Spinners' classic "Mighty Love." As much fun as he has on this centerpiece track as well as the thumping and infectious "Ride Like The Wind" (admittedly, the disc's one non-romantic turn), Perry's bread and butter is the candlelit jazzy soul magic he brings to gentler gems like "If You Don't Know Me by Now," "Everything Must Change" (truly the emotional heart and soul of the album) and a sparse, almost mystical twist on "Wildflower." Though Perry's stated intention is to bring a sprinkle of "positivity" to a world that needs more of it, he is also thankfully in touch with the social realities of both the '70s and today; his seductive, Rhodes-enhanced cool-groove ride through "The World Is a Ghetto" assures you that he knows the harsh truths of life as well. Listeners will thoroughly enjoy the results of his decision to be optimistic in spite of these.

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