Never Give Up on Love

Never Give Up on Love

by Billy MitchellBilly Mitchell


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Imitating the jazz giants who gave him the greatest inspiration -- from Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock and Ramsey Lewis-- keyboardist Billy Mitchell's choice to alternate straight-ahead jazz dates with contemporary R&B/funk-driven smooth jazz has earned him respect from both camps over the years, even if it has slightly hurt his commercial momentum . After a few colorful excursions into swing (1996's Cat's Pajamas) and straight-ahead (1997's Passion, recorded live with his quintet), Mitchell returns to the smooth jazz fold with his Paras Recording Co. debut, Never Give Up on Love, a vibrant and eclectic session which combines raw and edgy funk, graceful ballads, and even some worldbeat influences. The title track begins with Welton Gete's snappy solo bassline and the roaring sax of Robert Kyle before easing into a bouncy note-for-note duet between Mitchell's high-end ivories and sultry vocalist Sandra Booker; on this tune as well as the cheerful, Joe Sample-influenced "It Could Only Be You," Mitchell breaks into slick radio-friendliness for a buoyant, extended improvisation. Typical of his more heartfelt side is "Southern Shadows," an instrumental version of a tune Mitchell wrote for singer Jo Marie Payton a few years ago; it's a dramatic, ambient piano meditation with gentle wordless vocals and mystical soundscaping by Munyungo Jackson. Jackson's dense percussion helps Mitchell score in the opposite extreme, helping drive the intense shuffle jam "Conga Man," a big anthemic and exotic party explosion (complete with background noise) that showcases Mitchell's ambitious production skills even if it short-shrifts his own playing.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/11/2003
Label: Cd Baby
UPC: 0634479747625
catalogNumber: 5637224801
Rank: 207051

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Mitchell   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Keyboards
Hollis Gentry   Soprano Saxophone
John Bolivar   Flute
Ilyana   Background Vocals
Welton Gite   Electric Bass
Munyungo Jackson   Percussion,Conga
Robert Kyle   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Werner Schuchner   Bass,Guitar
Sandra Booker   Vocals
Warren Adams   Background Vocals
Stuart Turner   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Billy Mitchell   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Brian Friedman   Engineer
Welton Gite   Arranger,Programming,Producer
Munyungo Jackson   Arranger
Mark V.   Engineer
Jo Marie Payton   Executive Producer
Eric Fahlborg   Engineer
Mindas   Concept Design

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