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360 Degrees of Billy Paul

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Opinião do álbum

Paul's first album for Philadelphia International was straight club jazz; sales were slow. This time, Gamble & Huff gave Paul material strong enough to make his sophomore release a viable commercial entity. "Brown Baby's" speaks of people of color making their parents and others proud. "I'm Just a Prisoner" is real, but would have been better served without the string section. It's a stark depiction about a man who has served five years and is contemplating his future. It is about the unsettling fact that he's just a prisoner. Its chilling chorus tells it all — "The cell is cold as hell, you'll never get use to the smell, my bed is hard as wood, I got to fight to keep my manhood," the riveting saga doesn't just end, the fade is lengthy, and features a dejected Paul woefully mourning the conditions, the situation, and the turmoil of prison life. He sounds believable and frustrated belting out "Me & Mrs. Jones," a classic that many relate to, and those who don't have no problem being down with the passionate singing and clawing lyrics describing the unapologetic infidelity. His "It's Too Late" is a fine rendition of Carole King's classic. You might not recognize "Let's Stay Together," popularized by Al Green. Paul does it it MOR/Jazz style, with a lot of improvising before crooning the original lyrics. It shows versatility, but it's unlikely that people who bought Green's "Jones" appreciated it. A version of Elton John's "Your Song" introduced the Brit to fans of soul music. Vince Montana's magical vibes punctuate the rhythm, which turns into a lightweight gospel revival. "Am I Black Enough for You" fit in with the times of overt black consciousness, a social message moved along by a perky bongo and clavinet-dominated beat, and well-spaced, brassy horn hits. A too staid "I'm Gonna Make It This Time," co-written by Bunny Sigler, marked Paul's second adventure in urban club jazz on 360 Degrees; this one has bite, and Billy sings it with fire.


Nascido em: December/12/1935 em Philadelphia, PA

Gênero: R&B/Soul

Anos em atividade: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Billy Paul earned all his hits in the '70s as an R&B vocalist, although he'd been recording since the '50s, when he debuted on Jubilee. Born in Philadelphia in 1935, Paul was featured on radio broadcasts at the age of 11 and had an extensive jazz background. (He worked with Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, and Roberta Flack, as well as Charlie Parker, before forming a trio and recording for Jubilee.) His original 1959 recording of "Ebony Woman" for New Dawn was later re-recorded for Neptune as...
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360 Degrees of Billy Paul, Billy Paul
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