Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tad Robinson's Soulful New Point of View

A New Point of View is Tad Robinson’s stunning new soulful disc on Severn Records. With his old pal Alex Schultz on guitar and Willie Henderson bringing horn and string arrangements, this album evokes some of the classic Chicago and Philly soul recordings by the likes of Tyrone Davis and the Chi-Lites.

There are two covers and nine originals as Robinson opens with the soulful lament, Long Way Home, because Tad is in no rush to get home because “At my house there is no one waiting for me.”What is amazing is how much Robinson has developed as a vocalist and really is terrific here, and his remake of the Johnnie Taylor hit ballad, Ain’t That Loving you (For More Reasons Than One), is almost as impressive with the string and horn arrangements caressing Robinson’s delivery of the songs.

I believe Bobby Bland had the original of Up and Down World, which perhaps does not reach the same level (it’s one of two numbers that Henderson did not arrange), as I am more partial to the late Johnny Adam’s interpretation. It’s one of several tracks with some nice harp by Robinson and piano from Kevin Anker. Another original, You Get the Keep the Love, hits a groove akin to Tyrone Davis’ classic recordings, while He’s Moving In, is a strong bluesy lament. Two of a Kind Blues is more of a straight blues theme with having one woman at home and one with who he cheats, but Henderson’s arrangements take it do a different level.

This is a really surprising disc from Severn because it is a soul recording with blues tinges, even though its being marketed as blues. This is not to diminish the fact that it is simply a marvelous recording that showcases just how superb a performer Tad Robinson has become.

Highly recommended.

This review originally appeared in the June 2007 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 294). I believe I was sent a review copy from the record label.

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