R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

VOICES Notes and news on R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax releases

One Of A Kind

12 JUN 09 DAVID NATHAN

There is no one quite like Teena Marie. In fact, no other "blue-eyed soul" artist in contemporary music has ever created such a solid legacy with a primarily African-American audience as a base. From the arrival of her first album in 1979 all the way to her latest Congo Square, the SoCal native has kept the faith with R&B and funk fans by providing consistently excellent music from ultra-soulful slow jams to enduring groove classics.

Her brand new Stax debut, is no exception. "Lady Tee" (as she is fondly known among her loyal followers) delivers music that is old school in approach and yet contemporary in flavor. The high octane "Can't Last A Day" features neo-soul star Faith Evans while the gorgeous ballad "Lover's Lane" is a duet with renowned gospel man Howard Hewett.

Marie's poetic lyricism is as strong as ever on tracks like the jazzy standouts "Harlem Blues" and the evocative "The Rose N' Thorn." Teena is joined by her daughter Rose LeBeau on "Milk N' Honey" and other special guests include Pastor Shirley Murdock ("Soldier") and M.C. Lyte (on the groove-alicious "The Pressure").

Great special guests notwithstanding, Marie delivers one of her most potent offerings ever and it's fitting that -- like current labelmate Leon Ware -- Teena began recording with one legendary company (Motown) and finds herself in the third decade of an amazing career at Stax, a fitting home for one of the most soulful artists in the world of music.

in this playlist.