Wendy Moten is putting female vocalists on notice...a stunning release.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Sometimes it is more fun to write about a release because you want to and not because you have to, such is the case with Wendy Moten and Timeless. Not familiar with Richard Whiting? Google the name as there will be a test later. Moten has made her mark working the more soulful side of the street only to do a hard left and drop a straight ahead vocal jazz release that is virtually flawless.
Timeless was produced by Paul Brown who has now raised his game to the next level. Notable musicians dropping by to lend a hand include Dave Koz, Mitchel Forman, Brian Bromberg and Roberto Vally. The hype from the label indicates "insiders" are expecting Moten to be in the Grammy pool for Jazz Album of the Year. Not going to happen. Given releases from Harvey Mason, Dianne Reeves and Pat Metheny the odds of Jazz Album of the Year are equivalent to me lining up behind center for the Saints. There is an interesting intangible here as the "average listener" may only be familiar with roughly half the selections. The illusion of new music presented in an old school format could work well for a vocalist with the chops of Moten.
If Woodward Avenue Records invests the cash and commitment then Wendy Moten may have just re-launched her career. If Woodward Avenue expects radio to do all the work then game over. While Woodward Avenue is arguably the best smooth jazz label as Trippin-N-Rhythm continues their implosion allow me to remind you once again, this is not a smooth jazz release.
It is flawless.
Don't believe me?