View Navigation
Articles»Wave Fave»Phil Perry - Breathless

Phil Perry - Breathless

Posted by Shannon Ella on 2017/05/08

The origins of Phil Perry date back nearly half a century when he held down the position of lead mic for the RnB group The Montclairs between 1971 and ’75, offering soul hits such as "Dreaming’s Out Of Season|. However, with the release of his 12th solo album, and third release in just the last four years, it seems the pre-eminent soul jazz balladeer is only getting started.

Perry’s soulful stride and dynamic vocal reach are yet again timeless and transcendent with the latest project on the Shanachie Records label, and begins to make one wonder what his formula and secret are for his perfectly preserved voice that neither time nor age seem to have an effect upon.  Never straying from his easily identifiable themes of romance, both its joys and shortfalls, Perry delivers yet another fresh offering of 10 songs of mostly originals, with a few re-imaginations of some classics. Working closely with acclaimed urban jazz composer and producer Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis, Breathless is a collection of soulful and spirited tracks of both coolness and tenderness.

The title song itself, in addition to "Do Whatcha Gotta Do", and "Nobody But You", give fans more of Perry’s rhythmic musical style underneath his multi-faceted voice, striking a superb balance with the album’s softer side of Perry. "Never Can Say Goodbye" (not to be confused with the Jackson 5/Gloria Gaynor ‘70s hit), is passionate yet powerful love ballad, and "Heaven’s Away" is both sensual and sweet and sees Perry combining many octaves of soul crooning with breathy love chatter.

Perry’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s "Love’s In Need Of Today" is elevated with rich gospel inspired backing vocals of Rashan Langley and Kevin Monroe & Devotion, and the re-imagined rendition of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic "One Less Bell To Answer" is an outstanding parallel to the Fifth Dimension original, but jazzed up with mellifluous sax accompaniment by Joe Cunningham.

It’s easy to understand why Perry has once been described as the ‘Pavarotti Of Jazz’ by Down Beat magazine, for he possess a vocal range that covers the spectrum from soft and sensual to soulful and powerful and a versatility that’s rarely found, and definitely not easily equalled nor replicated. No wonder the legend remains active and relevant on the smooth urban jazz scene nearly 50 years after his emergence in music. He’s simply giving fans more of what they desire, and it’s a musical craving that is not likely to be quelled anytime soon.

Reviewed by Stu Berketo
On-Air Host HD2


Posted by on 2017/05/21
Posted by on 2017/05/20
Posted by on 2017/05/19
Posted by on 2017/05/19
Posted by on 2017/05/18
Posted by on 2017/05/18
Posted by on 2017/05/16
Posted by on 2017/05/16
Posted by on 2017/05/15
Posted by on 2017/05/15

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to submit a comment

Wave VIP Club

The Wave Weekly Poll

With festival season being in full swing, what is your favourite way to enjoy music festivals?

Upcoming Concerts

Toronto Jazz Festival

June 22nd 2018


June 23rd 2018
Toronto, Sony Centre

Bettye LaVette

June 25th 2018
Toronto, Koerner Hall

Twitter Feed

Site Search