Lisa Manor

Timeless

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Recalling the quiet storm vocalists of the late 1970s and 1980s, Lisa Lauren Manor made her recording debut with the sleek, romantic Timeless. Manor was described as a jazz singer, but this is no more a jazz CD than Anita Baker's Rapture. Rather, it's an R&B/pop recording that sometimes has jazz overtones and employs some pop-jazz and fusion players, including Justo Almario (heard on flute) and guitarist Frank Gambale (formerly of Chick Corea's Elektric Band). Although Baker's influence is strong on this album, Manor is nonetheless her own person and never sounds like an outright clone of her. Timeless takes us back to a period when sophisticated, classy artists like Angela Bofill and Phyllis Hyman were carving out a niche for themselves by providing an adult-oriented approach to R&B/pop. Timeless would have fit in perfectly on a quiet storm station in the early 1980s, a time when you could hear the R&B vocals of Bofill, Hyman, Patrice Rushen or Michael Henderson next to an instrumental by Joe Sample, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jeff Lorber or Grover Washington, Jr. Although not remarkable, Timeless is a likable, pleasant collection of R&B/pop mood music.

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