Ron Boustead is a vocalist and composer who sings in a light and airy combination of Michael Franks, Tony Bennett, Mark Murphy, Mel Torme, occasionally a bit of Kenny Loggins, David Wilcox, Roger Voudoris, and others. This is his first disc in seven years (but the fourth in a series of available CDs) and is much too tardy in arriving for ears much in need of its breezy and laid back nature. Mosaic features a very impressive cast as well: Brian Bromberg, Greg Karukas, Kirk Whalum, Luis Conte, Munyungo Jackson, and more, the sort of ensemble one could not retain without first commanding respect for one's art. The disc, however, is neither fish nor fowl nor plant; that is, it isn't rock or jazz or folk but a blend of all three and harks back to older expositions like Janis Ian's, Van Morrison's, Franks', and others of the post-60s ilk.
"Honest" is the first adjective that comes to mind here—not in the usual heart-rending angst so often exposited as a display of musical/vocal sincerity but rather in a sedate, mellifluous, accepting state of mind upon the peculiarities of love and human nature. What accompanies 'honest' is most often 'from the heart', but Boustead involves the brain, too, and almost street tao-istically. Beyond his own wares, he selected a number of songs written by Jon Lucien, James Taylor, Bill Withers, and others but brings to the table a whole new emotional shade in covering them; thus, when you hear his versions, the ear is captured because you know the cuts…but not like that. A whole new dimension opens up.
Randy Crawford did the same thing, and her discs are frequently in my home rotation. Boustead hits the territory with that very warm attitude that so marks Crawford's work, and I could see him as easily wowing nightclub enthusiasts as Playboy Jazz Fest crowds. My favored cut is a tune he wrote with Fatima Geddes, What Now?, a quite affecting track imbued with hope, gratitude, beatified heartache, and reflection. The entire disc, in fact, is a long smooth wave of balmy afternoons burnished in amber sun and gentle breezes with rising and falling energies (Caress Wind is a cool groove) tempting sphinx-like smiles and sighs.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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