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Tony Adamo's Straight up Deal

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Artist: Tony Adamo
Title: Straight Up Deal
Genre: Jazz-Pop-Funk-R & B
Label: Urban Zone Records

It has been four years since I heard from Tony Adamo and the last time he was Up In It (2004 EP). However, this time out there is a long player to check out. The soul brother of jazz, the one who epitomizes the word cool, is back with his groove on again. He is laying down those smooth soulful vocals to woo the women and give the gents a reason to give this CD a spin with their partners present to get them in mood. This music really does set up a pleasant frame of mind if you are alone or with someone, it does not really matter, it does the trick.

This time out we get the Straight Up Deal from Adamo and he puts it all together on 14 sizzling tracks of jazz, funk, and rhythm and blues. Ernie Watts is back on tenor sax making the horn section special and crackling with a vibe that Tony just loves. With a great musical backing, Adamo is at his best, finding the least path of resistance, just a like functioning electrical circuit taking care of business. There is a lot of music on this CD and it seems Tony was determined to make up for lost time on this recording. He succeeds in accomplishing his goal if that is what he set out to do at the beginning.

That confident Low Rawls like vocal cadence is still his stronghold, it launches the music, and then the music returns the favor-it is really something to hear develop as you listen. It is like a sweet envelope of sound that Tony takes to the next level. Of course, this is only possible when you have some first-rate players in the studio with you, which he always seems to manage before he gets the session rolling. He has an entire team to back him, besides old buddy Watts, there is the superlative funk master Paul Jackson on bass on some tracks, and Jerry Stucker plays all the guitar parts and contributes some programming as well. The list is long and impressive so it is no wonder this album is so good.

Some of the more ear catching tunes are “No Strings," as in attached, “Up In It," and the red-hot “Groove Therapy." After hearing these particular tracks, it was a certainty to feel like I was getting some real nice musical therapy. “Lolita" was a favorite as well. It sounds like a single to me, but that is my call, we shall see what gets all the spins.

I think if Tony can put together a few more albums like this in a much shorter span of time, and I know it's not easy when you are an indie, it will solidify his place in the realm of jazz vocals, the pantheon reserved for those that earned that honor from years of hard work and consistency. It looks like he has a good start to head in that direction.

Tracks:
01. No Strings (4:15)
02. Passport (4:42)
03. In The WInelight (5:51)
04. Up In It (4:32)
05. Milestones (2:45)
06. Groove Therapy (4:31)
07. Hey Lou (4:22)
08. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (4:54)
09. Autumn Leaves (3:59)
10. Midnight Cafe (4:13)
11. Wouldn't You (4:22)
12. Lolita (3:48)
13. Stolen Moments (3:45)
14. Speak Low (3:39)

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