Take the best of '70s R&B and funk and filter it through a contemporary sensibility, and you have Gerald Veasley's Velvet (Heads Up). On the album, the Philly-born bassist acknowledged the styles that inspired him in his youth and added his own expressive bass voice to create a collection of tunes that hark back to a seminal period in urban music but reflect a modern perspective.
Veasley's take on Curtis Mayfield's "Let's Do It Again" features an old-school R&B feel that's contemporized by vocalists Jaguar Wright and John Stephens, while "Do You Remember?" unfolds into a soul-jazz romp. Veasley unleashes some formidable funk chops on the pulsing, organ-accented "Bread Puddin'," sets his bass singing eloquently on the ballad "Forever" and offers some nostalgic memories on the gently swinging vocal track "Home." Fans who grew up loving the music Veasley references on Velvet, as well as those who might be discovering it for the first time, will find much to enjoy on this fine album.