Personnel: Regina Belle (vocals); Regina Belle; Diana Moreira Booker (spoken vocals); Dean Parks (guitar, acoustic guitar); Christian McBride (bass instrument, upright bass, electric bass); Alex Al (bass instrument, electric bass); Lori Perry, Darlene Perry, Sharon Perry (vocals, background vocals); Ray Fuller (guitar); Everette Harp (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Oscar Brashear (trumpet, flugelhorn); George Duke (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards); Gordon Campbell (drums); Lenny Castro (tambourine, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Erik Zobler.
Recording information: Le Gonks West, Los Angeles, CA (2004).
Photographer: Randee Saint Nicholas.
Arranger: George Duke.
New Jersey R&B singer Regina Belle's 2004 record, LAZY AFTERNOON, is produced by pianist George Duke, and though it's loaded with jazz standards and features her wonderfully breathy vocal style, it's not a straightforward jazz record. Also incorporating elements of pop, torch singing, and lounge music, this outing is filtered through the singer's soul sensibilities.
The selection roams through composers of diverse backgrounds, with Belle's voice sliding comfortably into any style presented here. Belle finds a new angle to one of the most enduring of standards, "Fly Me to the Moon," opening with a dreamy, gin-soaked manner before shifting into a wonderfully unusual, modern R&B-flecked chorus. She tips her hat brilliantly to Brazilian master Antonio Carlos Jobim on a deft cover of his "Corcovado," before unveiling her own (co-written with Duke) Latin-tinged composition, the sly "There's a Love." A syncopated, Stax-like take on "Try a Little Tenderness" closes LAZY AFTERNOON, a breezy and original album.