Once thought of strictly as a classical instrument best suited to small chamber groups or large orchestras, the violin has seen an evolution in recent years, becoming a formidable lead voice in both traditional and contemporary jazz as well as world music. The redefining of its distinctive capabilities, however, can only proceed with the emergence of young innovators willing to expand on musical history and incorporate modern ideas, fusing past and present in a creative synthesis of styles to achieve a vibe that's wholly original. Jerald Daemyon is intent on doing just that. On his potpourri of hip-hop, funk, worldbeat, and jazz debut Thinking About You, the 26-year-old Detroit native draws upon masters like Jean-Luc Ponty and Stéphane Grappelli to forge a sound all at once starry-eyed and knee slapping, complementing his masterful melodic performances with an action-packed variety of exotic landscaping. Showing Daemyon's appreciation and affinity for classic pop-soul sounds, Thinking About You gets off to a smooth, familiar start with the Stylistics gem "You Make Me Feel Brand New" before gearing up for the punchy liquid smoke of the title track and the exotic darker edges of the hypnotic, rhythmically circular "Africa," which doubles as a travelogue of the artist's heartfelt intentions and desires. "Summer Madness," whose widespread radio airplay success throughout the Chicago area helped bring Daemyon to GRP's attention, is a playful, rollicking take on Kool & the Gang's early-'70s, feel-good smash.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran