Raul de Souza – Don’t Ask My Neighbors (1978/2016)

Raul de Souza - Don't Ask My Neighbors (1978/2016)
Artist: Raul de Souza
Album: Don’t Ask My Neighbors
Genre: Afro-Cuban Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Disco
Origin: Brazil
Released: 1978/2016
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Don’t Ask My Neighbors (04:10)
La La Song (03:41)
Daisy Mae (04:30)
Beauty And The Beat (05:02)
Fortune (04:07)
Overture (05:21)
At The Concert (05:08)
I Believe You (04:52)
Jump Street (04:38)


Released in 1978, Don’t Ask My Neighbors was the second and last album that George Duke produced for Raul De Souza. For the most part, Duke serves the Brazilian trombonist well, but this vinyl LP isn’t without its flaws. Duke sometimes overproduces, and a few of the tracks are weak — especially De Souza’s disappointing versions of major R&B hits of the late ’70s. Instead of really interpreting the Emotions’ “Don’t Ask My Neighbors,” De Souza provides a pointless note-for-note cover and turns the song into elevator muzak. He doesn’t fare much better on Michael Henderson’s “At the Concert,” which is marred by robotic female background vocalists who insist on singing the chorus instead of getting out of the way and allowing De Souza’s trombone to be dominant. However, De Souza’s interpretation of Dorothy Moore’s “I Believe You” is decent, and he really lets loose on Wayne Shorter’s “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as jazz-funk smokers that include Duke’s “Daisy Mae” and his own “Jump Street.” Don’t Ask My Neighbors isn’t as strong as Sweet Lucy, the first album that Duke produced for De Souza, but it’s a generally enjoyable, if uneven, record that has more ups than downs.
Review by Alex Henderson