Where jazz intersects soul, there are few more satisfying stylists than Nicolas Bearde, a richly impressive amalgam of Bill Withers and Billy Eckstine. The Nashville-bred vocalist is now 20 years into a dual career, balancing solo dates and recordings, released on his own Right Groove label, with work in Bobby McFerrin’s various vocal ensembles. For his fifth release as leader, Bearde unites with producer, arranger and pianist Nat Adderley Jr. Though namesake of the late, great cornet player and nephew of the illustrious Cannonball, Nat Jr.’s achievements have steered closer to pop than jazz over the past four decades, and he remains best known for his longtime role as music director for Luther Vandross.
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