I heard what sounded like a Paul Taylor lick, his signature lilt, as I listened to More Pressure, the first tract on Live2Love and that got my attention. However Ms. Grayson’s personality began to emerge and along with her gifted crew, a great bass line, and a jamming keyboard I was compelled to listen to rest of her story!
Theresa Grayson wears her passion for soulful pop music proudly. From Aretha Franklin, Hall & Oats, Sade and Tony! Toni! Toné! to Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and John Legend, the saxophonist-flutist mines hits from decades past to present on her sophomore album, Live2Love. The disc showcases five soul-jazz originals, four of which were penned by Grayson including the first radio single, Afterthoughts, an urbane track featuring soprano sax, scat-like vocalization and live instrumentation typical of the set from producer Terence Fisher
As a songwriter and arranger Ms. Grayson has represented her self well. I am particularly drawn to the interpretive slant placed on the slower tunes, the more soulful offerings on this disc, [Natural Women, Spend My Life, and Just A Litle Time]. Don’t get me wrong, the faster paced songs are impressive too. However, the seductive grooves of the less aerobic fare offered here for our listening pleasure were calling my name.
Grayson does not exhibit the same skill level with vocals as she does with her primary instruments, sax and flute, which is a slight distraction [Smooth Operator, lead vocals] because the difference in skill levels when playing and singing on the same track was noticeable but definitely not a turn off.
Ms. Grayson alternates beautifully between expressive tenor and soprano sax on Live2Love made even better by graceful flute accompaniments. Lush arrangements ~ a skill set to die for ~ I expect to hear a lot more from Theresa Grayson in the future. A star on the rise … Live2Love highly recommended. ABYSSJazz!