very rare for any musician to have a straightforward route to
recognition and acclaim particularly in the soul/dance field. As
an example we have Rose Ann Dimalanta (RAD) who though born
in the Bay area had to travel to Europe to gain success.
But it was Japan that finally put her on the map with the
support of her early 90's albums. 'Venus Drops' featuring the
Tower of Power Horns from her 'Gotta Be' set was one of my
favourite jamz for a long time and still sounds as fresh today.
That is in fact a hallmark of Rad's albums. With the new
album'East Babe' you know that the music will be timeless
as it crosses the genres of soul, jazz and unmistakably
funk. No samples or loops on this album it's all recorded live
and what a refreshing change it makes. Now back
residing in the US the album makes a powerful statement for
her home area and is full of tight rythmns,intricate chord work,
strong melodies and meaningful lyrics. The soul ballad 'Before
we say Goodbye' featuring the saxophone of Charles McNeal is
a stand out whilst RAD herself provides some nice jazzy
keyboards on another of the album's killer numbers 'Next to
You'. Given that she has only just finished being a member of
that Paisley Park franchise then you would expect the 'funk' to
predominate and it does!
Check 'In Time Win Love' and the
title track 'East Babe' for the best offerings with the former
winning by a shade for its thorough workout of all the main
musicians! RAD's album output has been somewhat
sporadic in the past let's hope that this is a long overdue renaissance.