Friday, May 10, 2019

Carlton Jumel Smith - 1634 Lexington Avenue

We decided at a very young age that weekends are made for R&B and soul, so we will suggest to you that your weekend will not be complete without 1634 Lexington Avenue.  The creation of New York City's Carlton Jumel Smith, and named for his childhood address, the album is nothing less than a note-perfect celebration of classic R&B sounds, one of the most beloved and enduring genres of pop music.  Working with backing band Cold Diamond & Mink, the house band and production crew at Timmion Records, the Helsinki soul label releasing this album, Smith transports us to neon-lit urban streets and romantic encounters.  It is a world of swagger, promise and romance, accented with deep, satisfying grooves, horns, and backing vocals.  Of course, the star is Smith, whose tone, phrasing and passion bring to mind favorable comparisons with past greats Al Green, James Brown, Otis Redding, and Curtis Mayfield.  This album may have a permanent spot on the WYMA playlist.

1634 Lexington Avenue is out today in digital, vinyl and CD formats.  And a backing band this good deserves specific mention: Seppo Salmi (band leader/guitar/organ) Sami Kantelinen (bass), Jukka Sarapaa (drums), Jukka Eskola (arranger/trumpet), Pope Puolitaival (baritone sax), Jimi Tenor (sax), Janne Auvinen (congas), and Tuomo Prattala (organ/piano/backing vocals).

Bandcamp for 1634 Lexington Avenue


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