There aren’t too many artists genuinely committed to old school soul these days, what with the proliferation of rap, hip-hop and various mutations that deviate from the form. That makes Ladies & Gentlemen… Nigel Hall an auspicious debut for any number of reasons, not the least of which is found in the fact that Hall himself emerges fully formed, a talented singer with the skills and chops that attest to his clear commitment to form. It’s not enough that he possesses the vocal chops and keyboard skills needed to meet the standard, but the fact that he’s so adept at such a vintage sound makes one wonder if he ‘s perhaps been hibernating for 40 years, ready to take up Otis Redding’s mantle when called upon to do so.
Still, the album wouldn’t be as effective if this New Orleans singer hadn’t chosen his material so carefully. Indeed, apart from some savvy songs of his own, he wisely chooses the Isley Brothers, Benny Latimore and fusion funksters Stanley Clarke and Roy Ayers as cover sources.
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