JazzTimes - 3/01, p.84
"...A positive, stirring addition to the Freelon canon..."
Personnel: Nnenna Freelon (vocals); Chris Potter (tenor saxophone, flute); James Sandon, Kirk Whalum (tenor saxophone); Matt Shulman (trumpet); Takana Miyamoto (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); James Williams (piano); Joe Beck (guitar); Wayne Batchelor, Ray Drummond, Matt Penman (bass); Woody Williams, Ed Thigpen (drums); Gregg Field (tambourine); Beverly Botsford (percussion).
Producers: Nnenna Freelon, Kirk Whalum, Mark Kibble, Cedric Dent, David Thomas.
Recorded at Sound On Sound, New York, New York from April 20-23, 2000 and Atomic K Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"Button Up Your Overcoat" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accopanying A Vocalist.
Personnel: Joe Beck (guitar); Kirk Whalum (tenor saxophone, programming); Matt Shulman (trumpet); Ed Thigpen, Woody Williams (drums); Greg Field, Gregg Field (tambourine); Beverly Botsford (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Josiah Gluck.
Recording information: Atomic K Studios, Minneapolis MN (04/20/2000-04/23/2000); Sound On Sound Studios, New York NY (04/20/2000-04/23/2000).
Arrangers: Joe Beck ; Kirk Whalum; Mark Kibble; Morgan Ames; Cedric Dent .
Nnenna Freelon's highly anticipated new CD Soulcall releases her energy, talent, and soulful vocals into a great program of 13 songs inspired by jazz traditions, gospel influences, and pop favorites. Accompanied by a great band, including Chris Potter on alto flute and tenor saxophone, Ray Drummond on bass, and special guests Kirk Whalum on tenor saxophone, Joe Beck on guitar, and Sounds of Blackness and Take 6 on vocals, the dynamic, award-winning, vocalist emanates her eclectic musical tastes with cozy intimacy, soulful nuance, and curvaceous phrasings. Freelon resurrects two renditions of "Amazing Grace" for modern artists; one a quiet, duet with pianist Takana Miyamoto and the other, a gospel jazz version with pianist James Williams, Ray Drummond, drummer Ed Thigpen, and tambourines by Gregg Field. The soulcall successfully comes through on the title track, a composition penned by Freelon, which reflects her true essence. Her voice is beautiful and possesses the amazing ability to gracefully change in musical expression and shading. "Let It Be Me" and "Just in Time" reveal her ability to caress a great ballad and scat sing with the best of them. The Grammy-nominated singer only improves with age and shows tremendous growth from her debut album, Shaking Free, and the much celebrated Maiden Voyage. ~ Paula Edelstein