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Love Letters

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Album Review

On his Heads Up recordings of the 1990s, Gerald Veasley set out to have his cake and eat it too—he wanted to record melodic, accessible pop-jazz that had commercial appeal and didn't frighten away NAC radio stations, but he also wanted to record music that had some substance. And up to a point, he was successful. Love Letters, like his previous Heads Up dates, isn't the five-star gem he's quite capable of recording, but it's more substantial than 90% of the instrumental pop that NAC stations were playing at the time. Love Letters' greatest flaw lies in the production—Veasley and Richard Walters III tend to overproduce, and it's regrettable that a musician of Veasley's caliber doesn't have more room to stretch out and improvise. Nonetheless, the Philadelphian does get in some worthwhile solos here and there, and the sleek melodies he wrote are generally relaxing without being dull or mind-numbing. Although not remarkable, Love Letters is a decent collection of mood music—the thing is that a musician who's capable of winning over the notoriously demanding Joe Zawinul should be recording albums that are outstanding instead of simply decent.

Biography

Born: July 28, 1955 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Gerald Veasley is an excellent bassist who has played his share of commercial music but definitely has the chops needed for more improvisatory settings. Veasley was exposed to gospel and R&B as a child and went on to play in various R&B bands in West Philly as a teenager in the late '60s and 1970s. Along the way, he discovered jazz and came to appreciate Weather Report and Return to Forever as much as he appreciated Earth, Wind & Fire and Smokey Robinson....
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Love Letters, Gerald Veasley
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