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Moon Bossa

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Album Review

Time has been much kinder to the '70s than the American critics who reviewed music back then. Many of the '70s artists who are now considered classic and highly influential received a ton of negative reviews in their day, and that includes everyone from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Chic to ABBA. If a '70s artist didn't make a lot of critics' annual Top Ten lists at the end of 1976 or 1977, that artist might be influencing an abundance of younger artists in the 21st century — and there is no shortage of '70s worship to be found on this 2007 release by British singer Julie Dexter and Atlanta bassist Khari Simmons. The latter has spent much time backing neo-soulstress India.Arie, but the soul that prevails on Moon Bossa doesn't have Arie's hip-hop leanings. Instead, this pleasing disc favors sleek, '70s-style quiet storm with jazz and Brazilian overtones; the overall outlook is something along the lines of Phyllis Hyman, Minnie Riperton, Angela Bofill or Randy Crawford meeting up with Ivan Lins or Milton Nascimento (minus the lyrics in Portuguese). There is some acknowledgement of the '60s as well (one of the tracks is Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave"), and the sweet-voiced Dexter's performance of Basia's 1987 hit "Promises" points to the fact that Moon Bossa is not devoid of post-'70s influences. Further, Simmons' remixes of several of the tunes are mindful of the club-oriented downtempo and chillout music of the '90s and 2000s. But all things considered, there is no getting around the fact that this 59-minute CD offers a big dose of '70s worship. Moon Bossa doesn't pretend to be groundbreaking, but those who still cannot get enough of the '70s will find a lot to enjoy about the way Dexter and Simmons bring jazz and Brazilian elements to the album's retro-soul/quiet storm foundation.

Moon Bossa, Julie Dexter
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