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Mr

Leslie Odom Jr.

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Having recorded a wide-ranging batch of interpretations and a holiday set, Leslie Odom, Jr.'s natural next move was to work with fresh material. The Tony-winning actor and singer does just that with his third album, released a week after the biographical film Harriet, in which Odom portrays writer and abolitionist William Still. There's a little thematic connection here, specifically in "Remember Black," where Odom nimbly reflects with pain, perseverance, and pride over a grand production that at various moments evokes a jazz club, soul revue, and HBCU halftime show. The album as a whole is similarly sweeping in style, moving through big band, intimate acoustic jazz, could-be show tunes, boogaloo-laced Latin pop, and a fair amount of adult contemporary pop and R&B, with some songs either blending or switching between modes. Odom co-wrote all the originals (11 of the 13 songs) and smoothly navigates the curves and turns, singing mostly about one-on-one matters -- infatuation, exasperation, devotion -- with much more flash and a little more fire than he did on his first release. The stirring ballads "Cold" and "Lose It," and the easygoing dancefloor cut "U R My Everything," are unequivocally modern R&B and wouldn't be out of place on LPs from Brian McKnight, Tank, and Ne-Yo. Those highlights don't deviate from Odom's past enough to repel those who admire him most for his theater work. Opting to work with album co-producer Theron Feemster among a handful of other stylistically flexible R&B specialists paid off. ~ Andy Kellman

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Mr

Leslie Odom Jr.

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1
Stronger Magic 00:02:38

Alan Pasqua, Piano - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Al Schmitt, Engineer - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet - Steve Genewick, Engineer - Michael Valerio, Bass Guitar - Mischke, Vocal Arranger - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Jermaine Dolly, Background Vocals - The Regiment Horns, Ensemble - Joseph La Barbera, Drums - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Nicolette Robinson, Background Vocals - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Astyn Turr, Background Vocals - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

2
Standards 00:03:28

Bruce Dukov, Violin - Charlie Bisharat, Arranger, Violin - Raymond Angry, Background Vocals - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Tamara Hatwan, Violin - Al Schmitt, Engineer - Sara Parkins, Violin - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet - Steve Genewick, Engineer - Bill Elliott, Arranger - Lucia Micarelli, Violin - Alyssa Park, Violin - Michael Valerio, Bass Guitar - Gordon Goodwin, Arranger - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Sam Ashworth, Background Vocals - Jessica Guideri, Violin - Chandler Harrod, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Andrew Joslyn, Background Vocals - Jermaine Dolly, Producer, Background Vocals - The Regiment Horns, Background Vocals, Ensemble - Rafael Casal, Producer, Vocal Producer, Background Vocals - Joseph La Barbera, Drums - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Willy Poron, Engineer, Background Vocals - Paul Morejon, Background Vocals - Phillip Ian Levy, Violin

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

3
Go Crazy 00:03:26

Raymond Angry, Background Vocals - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - MANNY MARROQUIN, Engineer - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer, Background Vocals - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Sam Ashworth, Background Vocals - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Andrew Joslyn, Background Vocals - Jermaine Dolly, Background Vocals - The Regiment Horns, Background Vocals, Ensemble - Rafael Casal, Background Vocals - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer, Background Vocals - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

4
u r my everything 00:03:26

Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Mischke, Vocal Arranger - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Jermaine Dolly, Vocal Producer, Background Vocals - The Regiment Horns, Ensemble - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Nicolette Robinson, Background Vocals - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Astyn Turr, Background Vocals - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

5
Under Pressure 00:03:46

Bruce Dukov, Violin - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - TONY MASERATI, Engineer - Dan Higgins, Baritone Saxophone - Steve Genewick, Engineer - Bill Elliott, Arranger - Jill Dell'Abate, Coordinator - Lucia Micarelli, Violin - Don Foster, Clarinet - Phil Levy, Violin - Steve Becknell, French Horn - Steve Holtman, Trombone - Stuart Clark, Clarinet - Tammy Hatwan, Violin - Alyssa Park, Violin - Heather Clark, Flute - Shawn Mann, Viola - Gordon Goodwin, Arranger - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Lara Wickes, Oboe - Kyle Mann, Engineer, Additional Production - Dylan Hart, French Horn - Rob Schaer, Trumpet - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Zach Dellinger, Viola - Suzanne Waters, Background Vocals - Jonah Levy, Trumpet - Sara Parks, Violin - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Jake Braun, Cello - Willy Poron, Engineer - Charlie Bishara, Violin - Jessive Guidero, Violin - Julie Burket, Flute - Steve Suminski, Trombone

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

6
Cold 00:03:50

Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Mischke, Vocal Arranger - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Nicolette Robinson, Background Vocals - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Astyn Turr, Vocal Arranger, Background Vocals - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

7
Lose It 00:03:29

Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Mischke, Vocal Arranger - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Jermaine Dolly, Vocal Producer, Background Vocals - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Nicolette Robinson, Background Vocals - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Astyn Turr, Background Vocals - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

8
Eva's Song (A Psalm Of Life) 00:01:23

Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

9
Foggy 00:03:22

Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Mischke, Vocal Producer - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

10
Entr'Acte (The Joyful Messenger) 00:01:17

Bruce Dukov, Violin - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Dan Higgins, Clarinet, Flute - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet - Rafael Rishik, Violin - Erika Duke, Celli Cello - Roberto Cani, Violin - Serena McKinney, Violin - Paula Hochhalter, Celli Cello - Helen Nightengale, Violin - Neil Samples, Violin - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Crystal Alforque, Violin - Edward Trybek, Conductor - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Wynton Grant, Violin - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Karen Yeh, Celli Cello - Willy Poron, Engineer - Phillip Ian Levy, Violin - Michelle Elliott Rearick, Celli Cello

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

11
Hummingbird 00:03:19

Bruce Dukov, Violin - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Bill Elliott, Arranger - Rafael Rishik, Violin - Alyssa Park, Violin - Roberto Cani, Violin - Serena McKinney, Violin - Paula Hochhalter, Celli Cello - Mischke, Vocal Arranger - Gordon Goodwin, Conductor - Helen Nightengale, Violin - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Dave Stone, Bass Guitar - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Andrew Joslyn, Violin - Tom Lea, Viola - Jason LaRocca, Engineer - Jermaine Dolly, Vocal Producer - Victor de Almeida, Viola - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Wynton Grant, Violin - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Willy Poron, Engineer - Phillip Ian Levy, Violin - Michelle Elliott Rearick, Celli Cello

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

12
Remember Black 00:04:05

Bruce Dukov, Violin - Raymond Angry, Piano - Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet - Bill Elliott, Arranger - Rafael Rishik, Violin - Alyssa Park, Violin - Roberto Cani, Violin - Serena McKinney, Violin - Paula Hochhalter, Celli Cello - Mischke, Vocal Arranger, Background Vocals - Gordon Goodwin, Conductor, Arranger - Helen Nightengale, Violin - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Dave Stone, Bass Guitar - Chandler Harrod, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Tom Lea, Viola - Jason LaRocca, Engineer - Jermaine Dolly, Vocal Producer, Background Vocals - The Regiment Horns, Ensemble - William Frank Reichenbach Jr., Trombone - Rafael Casal, Additional Production, Background Vocals - Victor de Almeida, Viola - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Wynton Grant, Violin - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Astyn Turr, Background Vocals - Willy Poron, Engineer - Phillip Ian Levy, Violin - Michelle Elliott Rearick, Celli Cello - Sam Webster, Drums

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

13
Freedom 00:02:26

Chris Gehringer, Engineer - Theron "Neff-U" Feemster, Producer - Kyle Mann, Engineer - Leslie Odom Jr., MainArtist - Rafael Casal, Producer, Vocal Arranger - Paul Redel, Engineer - Jordan Purvis, Engineer - Joseph Abate, Producer - Chris Binsfeld, Engineer - Astyn Turr, Background Vocals - Willy Poron, Engineer

2019 S-Curve Records 2019 S-Curve Records

Album Description

Having recorded a wide-ranging batch of interpretations and a holiday set, Leslie Odom, Jr.'s natural next move was to work with fresh material. The Tony-winning actor and singer does just that with his third album, released a week after the biographical film Harriet, in which Odom portrays writer and abolitionist William Still. There's a little thematic connection here, specifically in "Remember Black," where Odom nimbly reflects with pain, perseverance, and pride over a grand production that at various moments evokes a jazz club, soul revue, and HBCU halftime show. The album as a whole is similarly sweeping in style, moving through big band, intimate acoustic jazz, could-be show tunes, boogaloo-laced Latin pop, and a fair amount of adult contemporary pop and R&B, with some songs either blending or switching between modes. Odom co-wrote all the originals (11 of the 13 songs) and smoothly navigates the curves and turns, singing mostly about one-on-one matters -- infatuation, exasperation, devotion -- with much more flash and a little more fire than he did on his first release. The stirring ballads "Cold" and "Lose It," and the easygoing dancefloor cut "U R My Everything," are unequivocally modern R&B and wouldn't be out of place on LPs from Brian McKnight, Tank, and Ne-Yo. Those highlights don't deviate from Odom's past enough to repel those who admire him most for his theater work. Opting to work with album co-producer Theron Feemster among a handful of other stylistically flexible R&B specialists paid off. ~ Andy Kellman

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