Miki Howard - Private Collection

Miki Howard has been a favorite of mine for years. Ms. Howard's ability to stay within the texture of quality rhythm & blues music & yet sets herself apart from other vocalists by touching jazz music is no easy task. As done before on her "Miki Sings Billie" LP in 1994,  the classy & exuberant Ms. Howard takes us down that road again in "Private Collection". The music draws on a sense of admiration for jazz standards. But she also has a few R&B cuts too. Interesting enough, she incorporates her productivity with well known producers Chuckii Booker & Brandon McCune & what I've experienced was a nice set of sultry, relaxed music, only Miki could have come up with.

Now on one hand, if you do not get into a lot of jazz standards from the Old School, then I'm going to say this right now. This record is not for you. On the other hand, if you can fathom quality, evenly matched set of songs that comes all together regardless of genres, than this one is waiting for you at the check stand.

If you can't swing to "Crazee", then you are missing the opportunity for real good music to reach your brain cells. That song & The other standards - "Skylark", "Secret Love" & "Guess Who" - easily catapults Miki's uniquely ageless voice, as if she performed directly from a jazz club.

The songs "She", "Beer For Breakfast", & "You Made Me Love You" makes up the R&B side of the disc. It brought back memories to some of her last albums. Those albums sparked a rhythmic side of Miki and she still doesn't miss a beat. "Days Of Wine & Roses" time traveled me to when she romantically spares a similar song called "If You Still Love Her" on her self-titled "Miki Howard" album. The warmth & reach for a quiet moment will leave a bookmark to be placed on that song. That one, "Guess Who" & "Count My Blessings" opens up the room for romance & love.

Chances are, when it is said & done, Miki Howard's "Private Collection" has surpassed my objectives. I give this one 4+. It may climb by the end of the day. As I spoke earlier in a previous review, its very important for vocalists like herself to be heard & supported.

Young ladies, please take note. If you want to learn a thing or two about becoming vocally sound, take a snapshot of Miki Howard & do a background check of her career. There's a legacy about Miki Howard. It ages like fine wine & its waiting for you.

Song samples & purchase exclusive at CDBaby!

George Strand
The Urban Music Scene 


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