Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Aaron Frazer - Introducing Aaron Frazer

This is some fine, sweet soul music. Frazer has a clear, bright falsetto, and his vocals just flow. He's backed by a strong soul band - the bass in particular stands out, just moving so easily behind a great collection of guitar, piano, flute and drum/conga work. Frazer was part of Durand Jones & The Indications - co-lead singer and writer of some of their songs. On this record, Dan Auerbach put together a great group of musicians, from members of the Memphis Gang, featured on records by Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin, to members of the Dap-Tone family, and his influence is felt, too, in the way this record is built. Opening track is "You Don't Want to Be My Baby". Starts out slow, languid, and builds to a great, full sound like an old Stylistics or Delfonics track:


 And listen to how they build this song - "Bad News" - a light touch on the drums sets the pace, some excellent piano, layer on a flute, then a light guitar riff, and finally Frazer's falsetto - and you're off to the races. Just try to sit still:


Frazer proudly claims influences like Gil-Scott Heron and Curtis Mayfield and takes his work seriously. It shows - this record is tight and rewards repeated listening. Introducing... Aaron Frazer is out now on Dead Oceans, available on all the streaming sites, or you can order cd's and vinyl with download codes included at Bandcamp. This is going to be a big part of my summer playlist. 

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