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So Strong

Jonathan Butler

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Album Review

Vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Butler has been fairly consistent in his quest to be the next George Benson, as his recordings could all be easily mistaken for the classic pop/jazz album Breezin'. So Strong follows those same non-discretionary lines, as Butler makes no bones about playing the exact same style of tunes that Benson popularized in the mid-'70s, establishing the so-called smooth jazz format. You hear relatively similar light funk beats, spare guitar chords, or easygoing, simple lines, and the kind of underdeveloped, lazy affectations that are formulaic to this production model, cookie-cutter music. As Butler plays this genre of singer/songwriter pop, he sounds well, creeping closer vocally to Stevie Wonder, his fans should be pleased at the end result. In the pocket and on the make, songs like the title track and "Feels so Good," are purpose-built to slink and seduce one into a late-night lull, while moaning ballads and cooing come-ons dot the surface of these marginal compositions. Butler does hearken back to his South African heritage with ringing chords and a horn complement (Rick Braun and Dave Koz) during "Make Room for Me," and does a quite credible version of the 1972 Johnny Nash hit "I Can See Clearly Now." There's nothing outstanding or all that different to suggest Butler has an interest in establishing his own identity past commercial considerations. Perhaps someday he'll do the pure highlife, kwela, or township jazz album that is within his native soul. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

So Strong

Jonathan Butler takes Smooth Jazz back to its roots with soft vocals and great background jazz instruments , not all electronic.
This guy does George Benson on the Guitar and sings like Will Downing. This is good Driving Music or for that Sentimental Mood.

He's back!!!

I really. Enjoy his gospel, but I Missed the jazz side of Jonathon . And here is a lot if melodic tunes! Everything on this cd just. About sounds pretty cool. I don't think you can go wrong. I am a minister of music and 35 year jazz fan. ( Jonathan Butler Fan )

Always on point

I heard the song BE HERE WITH YOU on satallite radio and I was instantly hooked. I went looking for this CD and could not find it, well that's because its just been released yet. Love the whole CD, Jonathan Butler, you always bring it, sooooo soulful.

Biography

Born: October, 1961 in Cape Town, South Africa

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '00s

South African expatriate Jonathan Butler isn't really a jazz artist, but his laid-back, slightly jazz-tinged approach to R&B/pop has earned the singer/guitarist/songwriter/producer a lot of supporters in the urban contemporary, adult contemporary, quiet storm, and smooth jazz/NAC markets. Butler has enjoyed a following since the late '70s, although he reached his commercial peak in the late '80s, and he continues to tour and record in the 21st century. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in October...
Full Bio
So Strong, Jonathan Butler
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Customer Ratings

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