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Nigel Hall’s Ladies and Gentlemen … Nigel Hall comes Ivan Neville tested and Questlove approved and for good reason. There’s a silly smooth soul in the Washington singer’s voice, but there’s just as much face-melting funk in his fingers. “Don’t Change For Me” might just be the grooviest track of 2015 that you probably didn’t hear, a slinky-yet-powerful drum beat forcing the Ugly Face onto any listener with two ears and a pulse. The Isley Brothers’s forgotten 1972 classic “Lay Away”, featuring Quest on drums, is updated with a fuller sound but just as much soul. And single “Gimme a Sign” takes R&B music back to a time when wasn’t just a genre, it was a lifestyle, its guitar recalling that of Steve Cropper and his work on pretty much every Stax Records single between 1962 and 1965. What makes Nigel Hall great is his attention to both the rhythm and the blues. What makes Ladies & Gentlemen essential is its commitment to a classic soul music ethos that rarely sounds this exciting in the modern day. It’s authentic. It’s undeniable. It’s… Nigel Hall.