Pieces Of A Dream - Love's Silhouette


Since a longtime I observe the career of one of the most acclaimed group of Smooth Jazz: Pieces Of A Dream. Naturally I have all their albums with these exceptions: All releases in vinyl as "Imagine This", "Rising to the Top", "In Performance at the Playboy Jazz Festival" or "Ain't My Love Enough". My big wish: a re-issue of these albums on CD. They are also to find on compilations as "Outside In", "Save Some Time For Me", "Say La La", "Sunshine" and "Winning Streak". POAD are the pioneers of Smooth Jazz. From 1981 to 1984 they started with their first three albums "Pieces Of A Dream", "We Are One" and "Imagine This". There were only a few artists, playing this typical mixture of jazz and R&B at that early period. Another one was George Benson with "Give Me The Night".

The group based their name on Pieces of Dreams, a cover tune by Stanley Turrentine that the group performed. POAD has just started their new website http://piecesjazz.com/ with information about all members. I hope they will also add their complete discography, which I am still missing. Very informative is also Heads Up Records' artist site, where you can find a biography, soundsamples and a review about this album with comments of the group’s co-founders – keyboardist James Lloyd and drummer Curtis Harmon.

"Love's Silhouette" is their second album on the Heads Up label after their label debut "Acquainted With The Night". The album contains 14 songs over 1 hour and 7 minutes and it fullfills all expectations. There is a lot of all styles from R&B to jazz to find on this album, so radio-stations and listeners will be pleased.

Turning Up can be recognized like an old friend. It's a summary of urban contemporary and Smooth Jazz of the last decade with a familiar melody structure and rhythm. Tailored for the radio-stations like a tailor-made suit. Just perfect.

Love's Silhouette was composed by James Lloyd and named by his wife. Listen to James' virtuosity in piano play and enjoy Eddie Bacus jr.'s faboulous sax play. Although Eddie isn't world-known as POAD, he has already performed with and alongside such artists as Regina Carter, Dianne Reeves,Vesta Williams, Norman Connors, Miki Howard, Jean Carne, Angela Bofill, Phil Perry, George Duke, Najee, Bobby Watson, Marcus Belgrave, Lester Bowie, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Regina Belle, Rachelle Ferrell, Ronny Jordan, Gerald Veasley, Grover Washington Jr. and many others. It's high time to bring him into limelight.

Mission Possible showcases another great sax player: Joseph Vincelli. Joe's new album is called "This Life" and available over his website http://www.joevincelli.com/merchandise/index.htm. Mission Possible is a real appetizer for Joe's own albums, isn't it?

The theme of I Feel Like Singin' is music, the interpret Tracy Hamlin. Her sexy intonation gave me the creeps.  "Tracy Hamlin is a songbird that will continue to ring out a unique resonance in this new millennium." Let her out of the gilded cage and give her an own contract. The girl can sing.

Tonight The Night is the night of James Lloyd 's impressing piano play. My only complaint: the shortness of every piece. I would like to hear an extensive piano solo. Perhaps next time on a live album?

Nice & Easy gives exposure to Gerald Veasley. I met this exceptional bassist on a cruise in January to Mexico. On board he just travelled as a guest, but was so kindly to give an unforgettable concert. His style is unmistakable and so complex, that every piece he plays becomes a solo. Bass players which want to learn his style, should join his workshops.

Mystical Perception is an awefull arrangement of synthesizered sounds and choired sax play. If you compare this song with the Rippingtons (Jeff Charney) or with EWF. It has it all. This tune is an absolutely contemporary masterpiece.

On Pieceful Dreams the blessed James Lloyd shows more of his talent and skillfullness. He has the golden fingers. A Midas of the piano.

Savoir Faire means "know to do" in French and POAD know their business. 

Spanish flavor develops the uptempo Enmascarada. Todd Parsnow and his acoustic guitar is the hero of this piece sharing the merits with James and his fantastic pianoplay. You can listen further to Todd's impressing chops on Rebirth of Kirk Franklin, Keepin' It Real  by Joe McBride & the Texas Rhythm Club, Cliches by Gregory O'Quin 'N Noyze or Danny Federici by Danny Federici.

Synthesizer fans will like Let's Roll. James demonstrates his synthi sound. Todd Parsnow plays brilliant electric guitar slicks.

Remembrance is POAD's contemplative memorial contribution to the 11th September. Todd Parsnow's acoustic guitar and James Lloyd 's piano are weaving this dream.

What means Slither?  Obviously not a description of the quality of this funky piece with professional contributions of all artists.

You missed a cover? Well, the final My Funny Valentine featuring Tracy Hamlin on vocals was originally composed and written by Richard Rodgers (composer) & Lorenz Hart (songwriter).  Further notable songs of this creative duo are for example "Blue Moon" or "The Lady Is A Tramp". My Funny Valentine is a classical jazz song, already sung by Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, Rita Hayworth and Carmen Rae. A look at All Music Guide counts 800 versions of this song! Tracy Hamlin 's interpretation is intimate and near to the original.

There is no doubt, that Pieces Of A Dream will return into the charts with this album. "Love's Silhouette" has a high commercial potential and its attractivity is founded on a big bunch of hooking melodies setting a new reference in Smooth Jazz quality. Move heaven and earth to get this album.