by Vernon Neilly
– Reviewed by Chris Mann
composer and producer Vernon Neilly began his professional career at the
age of fourteen, playing local nightclubs and dances in Honolulu,
on to tour and record with notable R&B artists, including Johnny
Guitar Watson, Carla Thomas and Billy Paul. Under the direction of
legendary Motown producer, Norman Whitfield, Vernon was able to learn
and perfect his production skills. During his seven-year spell as the President of Chereese
Records, Vernon learned every aspect of the record business and his
first solo release comes from his own record company Boosweet Records.
Vernon picks up the guitar, what happens?
start off funky with On The Wind.
It’s a strange mixture with some really old-fashioned brass
lines on the chorus over a very chunky synth bass line.
The tenor sax solos have a very distinctive sound.
a more mellow sax from Howard Alston on the laid back I
Feel Love which, to my ears, is a smooth jazz radio hit.
The backing vocals need a little more emphasis, but the sax on
this one is the star. Nice.
vocal on the ballad Baby Come Back is
engineered in such a strange way that it ‘s difficult to appreciate
Chester Davis’ voice. The
mix is muddy – more clarity and some live drums would make this a
liked “Europa” by Santana, chances are you’ll like Para
Carlos. Live, and
with the intensity stepped up a couple of notches, this could burn.
That guitar and sax could have gone for it more!
Of You (vocal) is
boy band stuff. Not sure
what I can add to that.
switches to acoustic guitar for Midnight Passion
and he has a great sound. I
was waiting for the guitar to cut through.
The synth bass and drum sound is solid.
Ditch the backing vocal, use a warmer synth sound and push the
guitar forward in the mix.
Of You (instrumental) is another take on the ballad theme, with a
wistful tenor sax. It’s film music – heavily romantic – happy-ever-after
type music. As the guitar
comes in, they start picking up the popcorn.
Beginning of the End launched “Funky Nassau” on an unsuspecting
public in the early ‘70’s somehow they captured that Bahamas
sunshine more believably than Nassau Party.
This is a pop song – pure and simple.
like your electric blues, sit down, pour a good measure of Jack Daniels
and tap your feet to Your The One.
Another big hitter live – sneaky brass, that clean bass guitar
and the distortion wound up just enough.
Vocal is incidental.
heavy Galactica has shades of Parliament
and made me instantly think of “Space Cadets” by Harvey Mason.
If this had Bootsy on bass, I’d probably be laughing my head
off by now!! Funky, and weirdly catchy!
George Clinton-style, spaced-out funk jam continues into Khalif’s
Space Slam but there was a touch of magic missing from this
particular clone of Dr Funkenstein…
the rap on Khalif’s Space Slam (rap version)
was not it!
is called “Kaleidescope” for a reason – Neilly goes for contrasts
on it and there are high spots. He
is a talented guitar and bass man – and funky.
I love funk like I love breathing, so leave the ballads to George
Benson and - hit me!!
Records 0001 – Executive Producer Vernon E. Neilly
Available from www.boosweet.com