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    Last Updated: 2/18/2002













































































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  • CD REVIEW:
    LISA GAY AND THRILL: 'WATCH WHAT HAPPENS'


    Hello, fellow Soul Patrollers. It's my sincere pleasure to introduce you all to something on the POSITIVE TIP! So many of you have shared new music with me in the past that I have bought on your recommendations. Because I value highly your thoughts and opinions, now, I have a jewel to share with all of you in return.




    Click on the banner above or right here to listen to a special WORLD PREMIRE BROADCAST of the LISA GAY AND THRILL'S new CD: 'WATCH WHAT HAPPENS'!!!


    Very recently, Bob posted an intriguing message concerning the Soul Patrol's DUAL mission.
    1) pay tribute and give recognition to those Classic artists and performers from our not too distant past-whether they be currently still active or inactive- that have brought us to this special 'electronic community'. And have also given us so much joy and pleasure.

    2) is the introduction, fostering and exposure of NEW artists and performers who reflect the caveats and essence of those very same Classic artists, but create their music in a Contemporary vein. Because with "Negro Radio" sadly being what we know it to be, who else and WHERE else would these talented and deserving people get such exposure? Right HERE on the Soul Patrol!!!

    Actually, with this second concept in mind, there's a very special SOMEONE I'd like to get you to know. And, I think you'll love them as I do.

    This unique and highly talented group of artists is collectively known as LISA GAY & THRILL. The band is based in Los Angeles, CA.

    They have a new CD out in the marketplace called "WATCH WHAT HAPPENS". It's a soulful, classy, exquisitely performed and produced set of tracks that are very personal for Lisa. Some are well-known standards, several are pure Classic Soul/R&B covers, a few are Jazzy, and three are originals penned by Lisa and other group members. The precision backing instrumentation, performed primarily by seasoned heavyweights TONY DRAKE (guitars), GREG COOK (keyboards) and MARK CARGILL (electric violin), this group of consummate pros (with a TON of professional experience) melds a musical tapestry unique on the current music scene. The music to me harks back to a time when singers sang from the heart with true feeling and sincerity. The common theme through out this collective is all about love (and it's many highs and lows), positivity of mind and spirit, and the simple "thrill" of living life to the fullest. These are songs of the heart and soul. People just don't do this type of music anymore. But it's very hip and current in style and content. Like discovering a real rich treasure! Unique, yet completely identifiable.




    Click on the banner above or right here to listen to a special WORLD PREMIRE BROADCAST of the LISA GAY AND THRILL'S new CD: 'WATCH WHAT HAPPENS'!!!


    What's the style you are likely wondering? Try a special blend of Sarah Vaughan, a bit of Ella Fitzgerald, a generous sprinkle of both Patti Austin and Phyllis Hyman, some Marilyn McCoo and a touch of Streisand, even. Those are Lisa's main influences. Others she has mentioned on the more Contemporary tip are Dianne Reeves, Brenda Russell, Rachelle Ferrell and Jill Scott. It's smooth, sensual yet exciting all at once. And, it is one of the very few collections geared for a mature audience (although my 22-year-old daughter was TOTALLY knocked out with the CD! Apparently, she found some elements even she could relate with in this music).
    It's the kind of disk you can put on late at night, chill with a glass of nice Merlot or some Hennessey! But don't be misled! You can "Bump" this killer CD HARD! (I do!). There is a little something here for every taste. That's what makes it so special and unique.
    For the pure music connoisseur, this band is precision hot and tight, yet envelops Lisa's powerful and sensitive vocals like a warm blanket in winter. Tony Drake is a master of the guitar, evoking George Benson, Eric Gale and Grant Green. Greg Cook is simply awesome on keys, reminds me of Joe Sample and a bit of Herbie. He plays with sensitivity but can get "all up in the pocket" when called for. When I play this disk, it gives me hope for the Here and Now. That there ARE unique artists that aren't all studio tricks, samples, smoke and mirrors. Folks, this Am the Real Deal! Played and sung with true heart and soul. And that's both reassuring and refreshing.





    Click on the banner above or right here to listen to a special WORLD PREMIRE BROADCAST of the LISA GAY AND THRILL'S new CD: 'WATCH WHAT HAPPENS'!!!


    Here are my thoughts and impressions of the tracks on how "WATCH WHAT HAPPENS": (I apologize for the length, but I wanted to give the reader a "good feel" for each track. The more I played the disk, the more these songs grew on me.


    1). "Watch What Happens": Gabor Zabo's version (Lena Horne sung it). Greg's organ solo brings back the "sweetness" that reminds you of the late great Keyboardist Richard Tee B-3 organ genius. Mark Cargill's violin line enriches the track with a full luxurious effect. Kevin Brandon walks with authority on his upright bass, Tony's gliding guitar licks and the great Paul Humphrey making his drums "sing". This track "swings! Lisa 4/4's it with a jazzy style.

    2). "Let's Stay Together": Al Green's blueprint. Made me "Texas Hop"! As the harmony lines flowed from Greg's 'lyricon' style fills, Tony's ever present and classic R&B style gave the song it's true soulful meaning, thus allowing Lisa to glide above the track with an easy airy tone. A nice, smooth rendition of a Soul Classic, THRILL style!

    3). "Carousel": Arranged by Tony Drake. The song about childhood dreams, love and growth is a perfect showcase for this group's sensitivity. The creative colors that you hear result in a masterpiece with so many musical flavors.

    4). "Believe In Love": Originally written by Lisa and Clarence J. Matheny the day after Lisa's father's funeral, she was inspired by her father's words telling her to move on and that his love would always be there if she just continued to believe in herself and the love of God. Mark Cargill surrounds the track with an exceptional string arrangement. Tony lays his Barry White licks and put his stamp on his Stratocaster guitar solo work that ties the whole song together. Nice, understated multitracked background vocals. The rhythm groove is "in the pocket". This is one of the best tracks, I feel.

    5). "Day by Day": Written by Lisa and Rodney Friend. Lisa's smoking on this gospel-tinged song about coping with life "day by day". Mikal Majeed smokes on organ. This is the album's pure kicking up-tempo jam. I really think this is another 'breakout potential' track. One of my favorites. (OK, so I'm a softie when it comes to a beautiful ballad! Sue me!).

    6). "Why Did I Choose You?" Marvin, Barbara Streisand, and Johnny Mathis each recorded versions of this beautiful song from the play "The Yearling". Greg added "vox voicing" effects while Mark plays this gorgeous ballad with a rich intensity on Stradivarius violin that gave the song real heart and soul. This song really got to me. It's a beautiful and haunting song that Quincy would've done the exact same way, I believe.

    7). "Our Love Is Getting Better": Written by Don Lewis. A slow cooker with "pocket rhythm". Lisa sang on the original recording session of Don Lewis's original version recorded at A&M records back in 1976. This smooth arrangement took this song to a different level. The funky bass line moves underneath the track while introducing an easy air rhythm and a call and answer "twist". This one is a crowd pleaser when Lisa performed it live last year at the DC3/Flying Museum showcase she did that was killer.

    8). "I Need You Now" Written by Mark Cargill and Cheryl MacDowell. Nice lyrics for an intimate ballad. Andrew Carney does the simple flugelhorn lines that "dots the I's and crosses the t's". Lisa's really feeling this song. A new "Power Grinder" selection! (LOL!).

    9). "Let Yourself Go": The 'Friends of Distinction' tune, the song gets a facelift by turning it into a dance groove with Lisa calling out popular dances of the past. I understand Tony played 3 different guitar parts along with Greg "Captain" Cook's romping bass, electronic keyboards and drum arrangements. An up-tempo feel good jam. You'll find yourself "James Browning" a little bit! Infectious beat.


    10). "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love?" Thee Crown Jewel of the collection. IMHO! Lisa and the band loves them some Spinners. Check the 'Urban Groove" rhythm on this! Features some of the baddest vocalists in the business (The Henleys, [Patricia and Bob]) of Smokey Robinson, and the one and only Brenda Lee Eager), add Andrew Carney with his "Miles like Mute Trumpet", a Tony Drake signature "money lick", Greg and his ever so present inverted bass line, and Mark "Boom Shaka" Cargill his string and horn arrangements. The lead and background vocal contrast is fantastic. This track rocks! Custom tailored for Lisa and sung with a lot of Soul.

    11). "Scarborough Fare/Feel Like Makin' Love": Aww, Lawdy! This is so well done it hurts! They knocked me out with this real slow "peel yo skin off' grinder/cooker. Just bass, guitar and vocal that will make you close your eyes and sway. A fusing of these two great songs. (Girlfriend can sure pick 'em!). If you don't attack your "significant other" while listening to Lisa burn this song up, there's truly something real wrong with you. This is a "supper club" song done Phyllis Hyman style. Whew! Lisa made this song her very own. I just wonder who the lucky person was she was "purring" these sensuous lyrics to? (I know but I'm not telling!).



    12). "Land of Me and You": I love the "Brazilian feel" of this lifting track The elements, Congas, Steel Drums, enhanced rhythms, voicings, and percussion all crate musical colors, excitement and joy. Tony plays both acoustic and hollow body, interacting with Mark's violin pacing the track while Greg holds it all down with a light but steady groove. An absolutely delightful piece!!!

    13). "Smile": This well-known song concludes the CD with Mark playing Stradivarius Violin, and Greg on Digital Piano on what is one of the most beautiful and meaningful compositions ever written. Sparse and tastefully done. I was impressed she would show such panache and style by including it. A very nice way to end a great collection.

    Production:
    ========
    Leon Haywood ("I'm Gonna Do Something Freaky To You") was instrumental in advice and support of this project. Also, Leanard Jackson was the "Mixologist" supreme. His years of engineering experience (CarWash, Fantastic Voyage, and the countless Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and many others) truly brought out the very best in all the performers. I was impressed with the BALANCE. The band, nor Lisa ever overshadowed each other. Leanard maintains a first class sound quality and clarity throughout the album.




    --Barry Tate
    November/2001




    Click on the banner above or right here to listen to a special WORLD PREMIRE BROADCAST of the LISA GAY AND THRILL'S new CD: 'WATCH WHAT HAPPENS'!!!