Wednesday, March 09, 2005
CD Spotlight -- 3/9/2005
Matt Bianco -- Matt's Mood (2005)
I found out about this CD while I was at Barnes & Noble in Cedar Rapids over the weekend. In their listening booth was a sign for "Matt Bianco & Basia--coming 3/8." Now, it's been 11 years since Basia's last solo CD, The Sweetest Illusion, and I always wondered what became of her. While it was tempting to think something exotic or unlikely, I figured the most likely scenario was that she got dropped by the record label after The Sweetest Illusion's disappointing sales figures.
I've always liked Basia, even though her music shouldn't really be all that much fun. It's pretty much lounge music crossed with smooth jazz, but for some reason, she does it right and really makes it fun and exciting. I'm the first one to decry all the Sunday morning radio shows that play 4 hours of non-stop Dave Koz, Kenny G, and other smooth jazz favorites, but Basia seems to transcend this label. I think it's because she has one of the most killer voices. She can sing the hell out of a song, but not beat it into submission (a comparison I heard when someone was discussing the Celine Dion/Barbra Streisand duet "Tell Him"--but that's for another entry.)
As for Matt's Mood--it's been a long time since Basia recorded with Matt Bianco(a group made up of Mark Reilly, Danny White and Basia) and I haven't heard the whole CD yet, but it's very promising. It's sparked a Basia renaissance which caused me to listen to her entire greatest hits CD on my iPod the other day in the park. And this CD carries on in the same tradition. Probably my favorite song right now is the first track "Ordinary Day" followed closely by "Ronnie's Samba" and "La Luna." I haven't heard the last 3 songs on the CD yet -- I'm buying it with my free iTunes from Pepsi caps -- but I've heard enough to know that it's a keeper.
It won't sell tons and certainly won't do something crazy like chart a top 40 single or anything, but it's good stuff.