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Phil Perry: My Book of Love

Phil Perry comes up with some winning romantic chapters on My Book of Love (Private Music 01005-82181-2; 51:36), showcasing his embracing tenor voice on winning song selections. From bustling soul/R&B to gentler acoustic arrangements, Perry gives each track a warm, heartfelt read, adding romantic punch to old-fashioned lyrics like “Heart of My Heart”: “If I only had one wish come true/I’d see the end of time with you.” Perry, who has produced albums for Anita Baker and Phyllis Hyman, among others, chooses his material wisely, from the gospel-toned heartbreaker “She’s Over Me,” by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to the string-laden, falsetto-stretching “You’re Right as Rain.” Also aboard for the project is producer/arranger Lee Curreri, whose gorgeous arrangement for strings and piano envelops the album’s beautiful centerpiece, “To Fall in Love.” This gently uplifting piece provides an ideal setting for Perry’s soulful vocals, without resorting to the modern urban trappings used by so many contemporaries to create only an artificial soul shell.

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