With a four-and-a-half-octave range complementing her soulful charisma, Khani Cole is a timeless presence, sharing a vision of honesty and emotional resonance on her Farenheit Records debut, Piece of My Soul. Combining powerful originals with flavorful interpretations of songs made popular by Gladys Knight, Minnie Riperton, and Karla Bonoff, Cole eases effortlessly from R&B and jazz to gospel with a hint of blues as she explores the dynamics of romance from all possible points of view. Adding elegance and jazzy textures to her performances are all-star contributions by Brian Bromberg (bass), Joey DeFrancesco (Hammond B-3 and trumpet), and former Yellowjackets saxman Marc Russo. Produced by noted TV music arranger Kevin Stoller (who also plays keyboards), Pieces of My Soul also features Cole's regular bandmates, bassist Al Ortiz, pianist Claudia Bloom, and drummer Mike Florio, Cole's husband. Bromberg's lively acoustic bass intro eases us into the album's first single, the soaring, mid-tempo Riperton classic "Everytime He Comes Around," while Cole showcases her grand gospel inclinations on the funky, church-going "Sweet Inspiration," which features a blazing, trademark B-3 solo by DeFrancesco. She then turns down the lights for the smoky, haunting intimacy of "Perfect Lover" (featuring Russo's sax) and the moody, trumpet-graced title track. After a tender, piano-based reprise of "Piece of My Soul," Cole explores the full range of her jazz passions with the plaintive "If I Were Your Woman" (originally recorded by Gladys Knight) and the silky, swaying "Everyday."
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran