Forgotten Voices is a quietly addicting album that slowly but surely works its way into the subconcious. An eclectic mix of world-jazz pop tunes with Balinese, Brazilian, and Haitian flavors make the album an engaging listen from beginning to end. Each song gradually reveals its own identity through subtle, creative touches that give the record depth and character and invite the listener back for another listen and another. Although, it only takes one listen to realize the superb craftsmanship of Brian Whistler
, songwriter/musician, and the unique vocal talents of collaborator and sometime co-writer, Pablo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez's vocals are showcased throughout, as he moves gracefully from R&B to African chant to Brazilian jazz-flavored pop. Rodriguez's signature tenor delivers each song with intense honesty and remarkable precision. On "Love Crimes" he invites comparison to the great Al Jarreau. Yet, Rodriguez is no would-be imitator of Jarreau nor one time teacher, Bobby McFerrin; he has securely established his own musical identity.
The CD features Paul McCandless (Oregon), Walfredo Reyes, Jr. (Santana, Steve Winwood, David Lindley), Kit Walker (Jai uttal, Neal Schon), Gary Brown (Airto) and about 20 other world class musicians, mostly from the northern California bay area.
McCandless' soaring soprano sax, as well as oboe and English horn are prominently featured throughout. His stunning solos, particularly on "Love Crimes" and "Grains of Sand", are superb examples of this underrated artist's incredible talents.
"Forgotten Voices" is a fine debut and a worthy addition to any music lover's collection.