Make Every Second Count

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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason

Singer and keyboardist Rose Ann Dimalanta (she usually goes by the lower-case acronym rad) and her producer and husband, Michael Kirsch, might call their collective Viva Brasil, but truth-in-advertising laws would suggest that Viva '70s might be a more accurate name. From its slinky opening ballad, "Old Worn Shoes," onward, Make Every Second Count is an unabashed throwback to the days of jazz-pop fusion, when the Blackbyrds, the Crusaders, Tower of Power (whose drummer David Garibaldi guests here), George Benson, and others created an unapologetically slick and smoothly melodic blend of adult contemporary pop, R&B, cool jazz, and mild touches of funk. The majority of Make Every Second Count is tailor-made for fans of that style, but the album's clear high point is its most uncharacteristic track. The elongated centerpiece "Fela" is an homage to the Afro-beat pioneer, featuring Dimalanta playing a lengthy and impressive electric piano solo in Fela Kuti's style over a gently swinging Afro-funk groove. It's the most passionate song on Make Every Second Count by some distance, although even it barely breaks a sweat.

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