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Finesse (Expanded Edition)
Nº of Discs:
Glenn Jones stunning 1984 album - Finesse, taken from the Original Master Tapes.
The Liner Notes are written by fellow vocalist - the great Will Downing.
Glenn’s voice has a very heavy gospel influence to it and when laid atop a soulful track it makes for a very unique sound. Glenn’s ability to adapt to whatever is put in front of him is tested on the Finesse recording as when asked to sing a song like LaLa Cope’s “Show Me” an R&B song that not too many vocalists could deliver, he excels. His vocals bridge the (small) gap between R&B and Gospel once again showing off his almost endless range. The emotions on this song are sincere and the vocals are not over produced.
It’s as if they let him do his thang without a dozen overdubs and punch-ins……and he does!!! Also check out the background vocals on “Show Me” does it sound familiar? It should…. that’s fellow background vocalist turned lead singer Freddie Jackson. The sound on this record to me is the epitome of the NY sound that emerged in the late 70’s and carried over into the 80’s. To me it started with groups like Chic, CHANGE, B.B. & Q Band etc…
Synth Bass, Acoustic Piano, Synth Bells, expertly crafted Background Vocals and a heavily plucked Guitar made this sound Unique. Producers Jacques Fred Petrus and Mauro Malavasi are the Godfathers of this sound. They gave way to upcoming producers such as Kashif, The System (Mic Murphy in particular- having worked with Jacques Fred Petrus was the connecting bridge), Jam & Lewis, Wayne Brathwaite, Barry Eastmond and Producer & Guitarist Steve Horton. The last 3 named play a pivotal role on this recording.
On paper the pairing of this sound and Glenn’s vocal styling shouldn’t work but… I’m proven wrong especially when listening to songs like the bonus track “I Am Somebody” and the title track “Finesse” Produced by Leon Sylvers III. The vocal performance on the song “Bring Back Your Love” should serve as a vocal template for upcoming male singers. For me this is what singing is supposed to sound like. Glenn’s performance is heartfelt. I could go on and on about Glenn and Finesse but the proof is in the recording. If you’re around anyone that knows R&B music, play “SHOW ME” and they’ll join along singing ‘Show me what I gotta do” or “Open up and let me in”.