Aaron Neville "Bring it on Home...The Soul Classics" Sony/BMG Burgundy Records
By Bob Putignano
This is not just another retro recording of soul classics. Aaron Neville's latest CD is a very serious piece of work, with a stellar lineup of backing musicians and co-stars- all assembled by that wizard producer Mr. Stewart Levine who certainly knows his way around to develop and embellish so many of the artists he has worked with over the last four decades.
Right from the start; "Rainy Night in Georgia" with Chris Botti sets the tone, as does "Ain't no Sunshine," "Let's Stay Together" with Chaka Khan, plus "People Get Ready" with Dave Sanborn and brother Art Neville, as does "Ain't That Peculiar."
Do not be fooled that this is Neville's attempt to reignite his career by making a recording of thirteen classic covers, as the updated arrangements on "Respect Yourself" with Mavis Staples, and "The Dock of the Bay" are downright brilliant, fresh, and extremely contemporary. There is no feeling whatsoever that everyone involved with this project was just going through the motions and re-hashing the same old, as many of the tunes on this fine disk have been tastefully revitalized.
Bottom line: "Bring It On Home...The Soul Classics," is a landmark recording by Aaron Neville, who needless to say is a world-class vocalist and a platinum recording star, coupled with able assistance of Stewart Levine and the seasoned musicians assembled, have crafted a album they can call their own soul classics. That's right Aaron- Bring it on Home!
Four and a half stars.
Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com
Radio Host WFDU's "Sounds of Blue"
President of the NY Blues and Jazz Society