Terrace Martin – Velvet Portraits (2016)

Terrace Martin - Velvet Portraits (2016)
Artist: Terrace Martin
Album: Velvet Portraits
Genre: Soul/R&B/Jazz
Origin: USA
Released: 2016
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

01. Velvet Portraits
02. Valdez off Crenshaw
03. Push feat. Tone Trezure
04. With You
05. Curly Martin feat. Robert Glasper
06. Never Enough feat. Tiffany Gouche
07. Turkey Taco feat. Wyann Youghh & Wayne Youghh
08. Patiently Waiting feat. Uncle Chucc & The Emotions
09. Tribe Called West feat. Keyon Harrold
10. Oakland feat. Lalah Hathaway
11. Bromali feat. Marlon Williams
12. Think of You feat. Kamasi Washington & Rose Gold
13. Reverse feat. Robert Glasper & Candy West
14. Mortal Man


Out of his many solo projects through 2016, Velvet Portraits is Terrace Martin’s most concentrated work. As with the releases that preceded it, styles continually bump against one another and mingle — freewheeling funk and gritty throwback soul are abundant — but this one involves no rapping. Some of the ideas were cooked up while Martin was working on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, an album with which this shares a couple elements and some personnel. It plays out like it was conceived during relaxed daytime sessions on rare weekends when Martin and his associates were able to break away from professional and personal obligations. Martin primarily sticks to his tangy alto saxophone and a battery of keyboards, setting the tone with a lazing but impassioned intro that settles into “Valdez Off Crenshaw,” where he and his group make like a West Coast version of Blue Thumb-era Crusaders. The sunbaked groove incorporates Donny Hathaway’s “Valdez in the Country.” Donny’s daughter Lalah happens to be among the diverse group of vocalists. She takes the lead on the aching “Oakland,” a quiet-fire ballad. Among the album’s drummers is Martin’s father Curly, who is honored with “Curly Martin,” a slowly intensifying instrumental that involves two of the Bruner brothers (drummer Ronald, bassist Thundercat) and Robert Glasper (on Rhodes) as most of its rhythm section. Martin, in vocoder-ized form, is the lead voice on only “With You,” a blissed-out G-funk glider. While it occasionally careens and meanders with some sequences that are merely pleasant or heavy-lidded, Velvet Portraits is one of those generously warm albums, seemingly designed for unwinding, that isn’t likely to wear out its welcome.
Review by Andy Kellman

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