Contemporary Jazz

Perry's Magical Love

11 JAN 10 JONATHAN WIDRAN

A vocal gem from the Peak Records vault, Magic, Phil Perry's sole label release in 2001 was a lushly produced, passionate continuation of the solo career he launched in the '90s with beautiful works sporting sweetly romantic titles like Heart Of The Mean, Pure Pleasure, One Heart, One Love and My Book Of Love.

Perry's mission statement at the time was "Love's the only thing that stands the test of time," and the tracks on Magic -- eight of which he co-wrote, reflecting tremendous growth in this area -- truly embody his commitment to candlelight and the pleasures of being a husband and father. Jazz and R&B fans unfamiliar with the singer's solo work probably had heard his voice gracing projects by everyone from James Ingram, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes, George Duke, Barbra Streisand, Dave Koz, Lee Ritenour and Fourplay.

He made an impressive leap forward in his now nearly 20-year discography with Magic, which features collaborations with Ritenour and renowned composer/producers Barry J. Eastmond, Peak Records co-owner (and Rippingtons founder) Russ Freeman and Chris Davis. Highlights include the silky, exotically Eastern tinged opening title track and two Rio-spiced gems, "Perfect Island" and "Keep Reminding Me."

One of Perry's inimitable trademarks is his impossibly high falsetto, and on the happy, gospel driven "More of Your Sweet Love," he digs into the heart of the matter by reaching for the vocal heavens. And what would a soul album be without a few Isley Brothers covers? Perry goes to town on "Living For The Love Of You" and "Groove With You."

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    Living For The Love Of You

    Phil Perry, from Magic

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    Somewhere in the Hills (O Morro Nao Tem Vez)

    Sergio Mendes, from Encanto

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    Mercy

    George Duke, from Dukey Treats

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    Comfort Zone

    Fourplay, from Energy

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