In the day of the digital download and when music seems all most disposable by nature:
I've been searching for a vocalist.
Abiah may be one of the very best. The more commercially oriented vocal jazz be it male or female has me losing interest quickly. There are but a handful of true vocal artists, those that have a gift to transcend the mere lyrics and turn them into music and a personal journey for the listener that may be the most touching gift in all of music.
Life As A Ballad is a sensuous yet soul filled passionate reaffirmation of what a vocal artist should be all about. Telling a story. Painting vivid images into the subconscious of the listener with tonality, phrasing and from a place well past the heart and soul. Passion.
This sophomore release from the artist formerly known as Jeremiah Abiah consists of nine original compositions that take one back to the time of a Johnny Hartman or a Nat King Cole but with a contemporary accessibility that give the release an eclectic pulse, a musical soul to call its own. Abiah's musical resume includes a stint with George Michael and while attending college a steady gig with the great Yolanda Adams. Abiah's musical journey has not been easy. Record deals have fallen through, artistic growing pains were resulting in self doubt and the very darkest of times have been the inspiration for Life As A Ballad. A uniquely personal recording that reflects on what most of us have been through in dealing with the concept of finding beauty or perhaps simple hope in the dark of night when all seems lost.
Abiah remained true to his artistic self and has emerged from that dark night with one of the finest releases across any genre today. Contemporaries have taken note of Abiah's gift with performances here by Robert Glasper and the most gifted young drummer, producer and educator in Ulysses Owens Jr. to name but a few. Abiah's warmth is intoxicating and especially moving with tunes such as "September" and "Foolish Heart." "Doves" is actually a somewhat playful riff on the Prince classic "When Doves Cry" ...but better. Abiah is a significant step forward for vocal music. A magnificent range, a strong lyricist and the ability to bend but never break has Abiah as perhaps the vocalist to watch in the coming years. The jazz purist might place Abiah closer to the Adult Contemporary genre but keep in mind that a genre or label is more often than not created by the industry to simply better categorize the artist.
Just remember the name Abiah.
A stellar 5 Star recording of artistic depth and imcomperable beauty.
Tracks: September; Doves; Foolish Heart; This Time; Goodbye; Next Time Around; Life As A Ballad; September (Reprise); Turn The Light On.