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Dave Sereny - Talk To Me

Posted by Riley Welch on 2019/01/28

You could be forgiven if you ever concluded that Toronto guitarist and producer Dave Sereny had simply thrown in the towel on the music industry and pursued another, if not unrelated, career path. Afterall it had been 11 years since Sereny’s Take This Ride album, which spawned the two very popular singles "Funkified" and "Give It To Me Baby" and was proven highly impressive to fans and smooth jazz insiders.  But the wait has paid off, because Sereny’s followup release Talk To Me is a testament to Sereny’s masterful talents in composing, producing, and of course performing.


Talk To Me unleashes 14 superb tracks, a dozen of which are original, and blends stylish guitar jazz, funk and soul influences into a project that is easily defined by it’s beats per minute, and Sereny’s own vocal talent blended among brilliantly arranged instrumentals. Prior to the full release of Talk To Me, Sereny teed up the full project with two singles, the fast moving "Caribbean Cruise", blending an island guitar melody with a techno beat, and another rhythmic groove, the vocal title track featuring Sereny on lead and fully backed by the soulful and flowing voice of his wife and recording artist in her own right, Delilah. These two were followed by the explosive and high energy "Spotlight", where the gritty sax of Winston Bell grinds furiously along with Sereny’s infectious guitar licks.


"About Her" provides a sophisticated slow jam that is both stylish and sensuous with the soul vocals of Wade O. Brown, and fellow Toronto native Warren Hill providing a lush saxophone accompaniment.  "Flashback" could easily have been titled ‘Throwback’ because it’s a retro funk and highly danceable groove reminiscent to some of the great rhythmic classics of the ‘70s and ’80’s and a pure hand clapping party track. Sereny’s vocals once again take centre stage on "Come Here Baby".  Delightfully smooth, sultry and bluesy, the unrequited love pains conversely feel great, and it’s easy to find yourself singing along in unison on the refrain and snapping your fingers in perfect tempo.


Sereny’s work is remarkable on a couple of classic covers, including  Bob Marley’s "Jammin’", which stays true to the original with splendid smooth vocal overlay. And perhaps what is a fitting tribute in this the 60th anniversary of Motown Records, Sereny hits up Hitsville USA with a great rendition of "I’d Be A Fool," originally released by Stevie Wonder on his 1968 album For Once In My Life.


If you want to subscribe to the adage or philosophy that perfection takes time, that might explain, at least in part, the reason behind the chasm-like gap between albums and a new Sereny project. But one thing is for certain, any smooth music lover not purchasing or downloading Talk To Me is denying themselves a complete and well rounded collection of musical wonderment. Don’t make us wait another decade-plus.


Reviewed by Stu Berketo

On-air host 94.7 HD2/95.9 HD2


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