Cheryl Barnes: Listen To This

Here’s a singer with a debut disc that sounds fresh on a variety of levels. First, Cheryl Barnes stays away from the “been there, done that” songbook, and instead delivers up material from the likes of Mark Winkler, Joni Mitchell, and the likes of collaborators Phillip Cabasso and John Hammond. Second, she brings in musicians like John Beasley, Rahn Coleman, John Hammond and Cabasso who not only provide keyboards but also some intriguing electronic and synthetic orchestration and backgrounds as well as rhythm. Their arrangements, mixed with support by James Hughart/b, Kendall Kay/dr, Ricky Woodard-Pete Christlieb/ts, Nolan Shaheed/tp and others make for an attractive mix of acoustic and electronics. And Barnes’ voice, soulful, sensuous and expressively swinging, adapts to the earthy “Like Jazz” with a buzzing B3 as well as the lazy and slinky “Afternoon in Harlem” to make each ooze into your pores.

Ballads such as “Baby’s Got Some Awful Kind of Blues” and “When I Am Laid in Earth” display a warm voice penetrating through well crafted keyboard sounds, while an R&Bish “Come in From the Cold” snaps with sass. She lures you in on “ Why Did I Choose You” before laying down the law on “Listen to This” with a full band for the backdrop. Cozy, coy as well as crafty, this lady makes some waves here. Check her out!

Barnes & Cabasso Music

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