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Sy Smith – Sometimes A Rose Will Grow in Concrete

June 18, 2018

This sweet R&B/jazz project from multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Sy Smith is about as refreshing a release as you could hope to experience in any genre. Rich with the influences of doo-wop, gospel, jazz, a touch of that island groove, narratives, stories, memories, and even poetic leanings, this free-spirited album, stylishly and thoughtfully titled Sometimes A Rose Will Grow in Concrete, will take you to places you may seldom visit in your musical journeys. Its silky delivery is guided by the satiny Smith vocals, and each song carries a heavy pointed presence and singular personality.

From the lead track “Perspective,” you know that you are in for something that just might stay with you, impact you, entice you, and firmly grab hold of you. As you listen further, you’ll see that you were right.

“Perspective” is only the beginning of this exciting journey, literally, as you are treated to such aural pleasures as “Can’t Get Over You,” “Camelot,” “We Were Never Free,” “Catastrophe,” and “Closer Than You Know,” among other gems like the informative, good-humored, and down-to-earth dialog between Smith and her dad on “doowop with dad (a prelude)” – a really cool a cappella exercise in beautiful harmony, and the deep title track.

Yes, it’s safe to say that, when it comes to a “dance” with soulful, sophisticated, deep soul and jazz, this recording has it all. It’s the kind of recording that appeals to where you “live” like a cool summer breeze right when you need it. It’s hard not to get behind an album like this when it carries such a feel-good vibe. Experience this “breeze” for yourself. A+ effort. – Ronald Jackson