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Twennynine With Lenny White

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Album Review

As drummer Lenny White left the influential jazz/rock act Return to Forever shortly before its decline, he started to successfully test the commercial R&B/pop genre. Twennynine was one of the better bands of the time and enjoyed an R&B hit, "Peanutbutter," from 1979's album Best of Friends. This is the follow-up. For this effort, Tanya Willoughby is added and Skip Anderson takes over the keyboard chores, replacing Don Blackman. Twennynine With Lenny White proves that those worrying about the jazz content here missed out on a lot of intelligent playing. The first track, "Just Right for Me," features a strong vocal from Willoughby, and guitarist Eddie Martinez's fiery guitar leads as well as his rhythm work. The sleek "It's Music, It's Magic" employs the same production values of Quincy Jones's The Dude era and has a great horn chart from Jerry Hey. The cutesy "Kid Stuff" is a little too silly, but honestly, this incarnation of the band certainly could get away with it. Although the group's dance credentials were strong, Twennynine Featuring Lenny White proves they also were adept at ballads. The jaunty "Love and Be Loved," written by Anderson, has the right idiosyncratic touch. The most emotional track of the album, "Back to You" has a great string and horn arrangement from Jorge Del Barrio and it certainly was strong enough to be a single if not a hit. Twennynine With Lenny White, produced by White and the underrated Larry Dunn, spotlights a charismatic and fun band and the effort is one of the strongest of the type.

Twennynine With Lenny White, Twennynine
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  • $7.50
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Jazz, Funk, Crossover Jazz
  • Released: Nov 01, 1980

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