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The First Qobuzissime of 2021! Aaron Frazer

By Marc Zisman |

Was soul music better before? No!" answers Aaron Frazer's first album. Spotted as the drummer and co-singer of Durand Jones & the Indications, this young soul brother from Baltimore, now living in Brooklyn, launches his solo career with 'Introducing...', an impeccable opus with a vintage flavour, produced by the legendary Dan Auerbach.

In Nashville's Easy Eye Sound Studio, home to the Black Keys, Frazer's celestial falsetto, influenced by Smokey Robinson and Curtis Mayfield, resounds to perfection. Both conscious and amorous, like all the great fifties and sixties soul singers, he juggles pure love songs and politically charged ones with disconcerting ease. His soft voice is a divine whisper, modern and ageless at the same time.

Like the trans-generational cast that supports him, ranging from old hands like the Memphis Boys (big names who have made their mark on Dusty Springfield's Son of A Preacher Man and Aretha Franklin's (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman) to the youngest virtuosos from the Daptone label - Big Crown Records... Gospel, doo-wop, funk and Northern Soul (Over You and its addictive up-tempo beat), Frazer even conjures up the ghosts of Marvin Gaye and Gil Scott-Heron on the smooth, funky Bad News.

He knows and masters his classics, and his magnificent Introducing... is indeed an album from 2021, not 1961. Like his contemporaries Mayer Hawthorne or Curtis Harding, Aaron Frazer transposes his passion for vintage music into his time. He knows that the beauty of soul is that it cries with you, rejoices with you, makes you want to dance and can also make you think socially and consciously, whether it's 1961 or 2021!


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