Althea Rene – Flawsome (2019)

Althea Rene - Flawsome (2019)
Artist: Althea Rene
Album: Flawsome
Genre: Smooth Jazz, Soul-Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 2019
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Inner Circle
Rock with You
Passion
Barbara Mae
Jump to It
Flawsome
We Are One
Let Me Love You
Life on Mars

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Detroit, Michigan born flutist Althea Rene has never regretted having chosen music as her purpose in life. With Flute Talk in 2000, Chocolate Rush (2003), In The Moment (2006), No Restrictions (2008), In The Flow (2013), Live In Detroit (2015) and Unstoppable (2017) she can look back on a remarkable discography. Now her new album Flawsome (2019) delivers the next paving stone of her street to glory.

Althea explains the title Flawsome as something or someone that is extraordinary because of its imperfections. The album is elaborately designed. Demetrius Nabors, Chris “Big Dog” Davis, & Lew Laing are listed as responsible producers. In addition to Althea, who plays the flute as her favorite instrument, are named as musicians on selected tracks Demetrius Nabors (keyboards), Robert Skinner (bass), Gary Johnson, Andrew Freeman and Jas Miller (guitar), Nate Winn, Eric Valentine (drums), Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Lew Laing (drum programming, keyboard bass, keyboards, rhythm arrangements), Euge Groove, Jeanette Harris (sax), Andrew Dorsett (keyboard and programming) and Dwight Adams (trumpet).

The sumptuous line-up is immediately noticeable in the quality of the music. Inner Circle starts with an introduction in George Duke style followed by a high-quality tune with excellent musicianship of all participating musicians. Althea offers multilayered flutes in spectacular overdub.

Rock with You is a song written by British songwriter Rod Temperton and recorded for Michael Jackson’s album Off The Wall. The smooth jazz genre knows covers by Everette Harp, Inaki Arakistain, Darren Rahn or Chuck Loeb. Which approach should be used to interpret this well-known melody? Althea chooses a chorus line of her magic flutes perfectly embedded by Chris “Big Dog” Davis.

When you like Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise then you will the Spanish flavored Passion. I don’t know who is Barbara Mae. A living person or fictive. However Euge Groove and Althea offer a maximum of authenticity and emotionality. Althea explains: Barbara Mae is her mother. Jump To It is a sparkling dance floor hit that will surely fill the hearts of all dancers.

Flawsome is a very memorable title, although it doesn’t fit on the title song at all. Althea once again shows her distinct sense for perfect harmony in the multiple sound of her flute. We Are One is a masterpiece by Frankie Beverly and also the title of the same named album by Bay Area-based R&B group Maze, released in 1983 on Capitol Records. The interpretation sees Jeanette Harris in the lead in replacement of Frankie’s vocal recitation followed by Althea on flute. Romel Veal on guitar and Eric Valentine on drums deliver the original Maze feeling.

If Chris “Big Dog” Davis has one thing on his plate, it’s the catchy R&B groove. Let Me Love You is tailor-made for Althea. With Life On Mars, Althea reaches far back into the past. Back in 1976, Dexter Wansel, keyboardist for O’Jays, the Stylistics, and the Intruders, released his groundbreaking debut album Life On Mars. Althea means it seriously with the Funk. She blends her flute with Dwight Adam’s trumpet to a flawless brass arrangement and rises on her solo to a splendid Ian Anderson level.

Althea Rene’s album Flawsome serves classy renditions with original compositions of enduring quality performed on a ultra-high standard. You cannot dig deeper to find a better album.