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Perfect Island Nights

Bobby Caldwell

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Album Review

The veteran blue-eyed soul singer has been busy since 1995 (the year he released his last literal pop album, Soul Survivor), recording albums of standards along with his Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin-styled soundtrack work and counting the royalties from the 100 or so covers or samples of his best-known hit, "What You Won't Do for Love" — so preoccupied, in fact, that's it's been easy to forget just how skilled he is at delivering easygoing romantic pop, whether it's funky and percussive (as on the brassy, bouncy "Call Me Up"), perfect for Latin salsa dancing (the balmy "Donna"), or simply laid-back and moonlit (the title track). Caldwell is at the top of his charming game on this modern adult contemporary classic, not mining any truly original territory lyrically but wringing every last emotion out of his originals (the power ballads "Extra Mile" and "Crazy for Your Love" are standouts) and a handful of well-chosen covers. None of his classic pop choices come close to his renditions of "Beyond the Sea" or "Luck Be a Lady," but he finds all the passion necessary on a loping take of "Sukiyaki (Forever)" (he provides sweet new English lyrics), the bright samba arrangement of "Our Day Will Come," and the masterfully soulful "Where Is the Love," which finds him perfectly paired with Deniece Williams. The colorful back cover shows a contented Caldwell, arms crossed, in his trademark blue slouch hat, sound asleep. Maybe his long-awaited pop comeback exhausted him, but it will energize fans longing for his return to form.

Biography

Born: 15 August 1951 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporary jazz singer/guitarist Bobby Caldwell was born August 15, 1951, in Manhattan, NY; his parents, Bob and Carolyn, were the hosts of the television variety show Suppertime and exposed the child to a wide variety of musical influences. Caldwell began studying piano and guitar at age 12; he initially pursued a career in rock & roll but was equally adept at playing jazz and R&B and at 17 took his band on the road to play the Las Vegas circuit. From there the group moved on to Los Angeles,...
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Perfect Island Nights, Bobby Caldwell
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