Baby Lee: Right Here For U

American soul singer, Baby Lee, currently resides in Kansas City but is originally from the neighbourhood called Jamaica in the borough of Queens in the Big Apple. As a background vocalist, the sultry-looking Lee appeared on a couple of cuts from smooth jazz guitarist, Norman Brown’s “After The Storm” set for MoJazz a few years back. Some of her solo material was recently showcased in the UK on First Experience Records’ excellent “Simply Soul Flavas” series. This gospel-reared singer no makes her solo debut for FER with “Right Here For U”, a 15-track compendium of tunes co-written and co-produced by Lee. “Right Here For U” is a pleasing modern soul album that is notable for its absence of the jerky, hip-hop rhythm tracks that are the scourge of the real soul enthusiasts. Lee is an assured, expressive vocalist whose talent shines on the dreamy, atmospheric “Blue Rain”, the fluid, mid-tempo “Goodbye” and emotive ballads like “When A Man Lies” and the tender quiet storm slow-jam, “Sweet Lovin”. The obsession by American major record labels for signing precocious, juvenile r’n’b artists has meant that many talented, more mature performers ( like Baby Lee ) have to go the independent route for recognition. In many ways it’s a shame, particularly in view of the financial restrictions and lack of powerful media machinery, but perhaps in the long run, this route may prove more fruitful – for at least in the independent sector performers seem to have more artistic control which may lead to career longevity. I’ll guarantee Baby Lee will stimulate your taste buds. Another quality release from FER.

Reviewed by Charles Waring – Blues & Soul (Rating 8/10)

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