Various Artists

Silky Soul Music: An All-Star Tribute to Maze

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A San Francisco-based smooth R&B act with roots in Philadelphia soul, Maze (usually billed as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly) never managed to break with a larger mainstream audience during their late-‘70s to early ‘80s peak, but nevertheless garnered a devoted following in urban radio as one of the progenitors of the romantic, understated style known as “quiet storm.” And the group’s jazz-funk sophistication can certainly be felt in contemporary R&B and neo-soul styles of the ‘90s and ‘00s, with some of their career highpoints (“Joy and Pain” and “Before I Let Go”) being heavily sampled by hip-hop producers. SILKY SOUL MUSIC, a tribute project organized by Frankie Beverly’s son, Anthony, pays proper homage to the oft-overlooked R&B act with 10 of their best known songs as covered by top contemporary R&B and gospel artists, including Musiq Soulchild, Mary J. Blige, and Joe, among others.

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