Artist: Nigel Hall
Album: Ladies & Gentlemen... Nigel Hall
Label: Feel Records
Release Date: 11/13/2015
The growing old school R&B revival proves that traditional music is timeless. Nigel Hall takes his place in the movement with Ladies & Gentlemen… Nigel Hall, which was nominated for Best Funk and for Best Album of 2015 in the Big Easy Entertainment Awards. As a sideman, he has toured and recorded with Warren Haynes Band, Ledisi, Soulive, the Soul Rebels and Lettuce. At last, Hall adds his singing and songwriting talents to the soulful keyboard skills that are the backbone of his career. Fans of Charles Bradley or The O’Jays will enjoy the honest emotionality of Hall’s tenor voice, a mix of mellowness and grit. He’s entertaining and impressive playing the Hammond B3, Hammond C3, Wurlitzer electric piano, organ, Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, Arp String Ensemble and acoustic piano.
Producer Eric Krasno (Matisyahu) contributes excellent electric guitar and co-wrote four of the 10 songs. This includes the Motown-flavored first single, “Gimme A Sign,” with Adam Deitch’s subtle percussion balancing Hall’s groove on keyboards. Hall shares a tasty vocal blend with Alecia Chakour on the swingy, upbeat “I Just Want to Love You,” from the pen of celebrated jazz fusion pioneer Stanley Clarke.
Hall’s lifelong romance with R&B lights up his funky makeover of Ann Peebles’s 1973 hit, “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” In a perfect marriage of sad lyrics with upbeat music, infectious energy builds between vocals by Chakour and Hall, Ryan Zoldis’s tenor sax, and Deitch’s delightful drumming. Hall scores again with a heartfelt vocal on the 1972 Isley Brothers’ tune, “Lay Away,” with special guest Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson on drums.
– Annie Dinerman