West Coast vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Robert Lucas forged a path for himself in the blues world after the release of his much-hailed 1990 self-produced debut cassette, Across the River. Based in Long Beach, CA, as a solo artist Lucas recorded for the Audioquest label out of San Clemente. He was also a member of the legendary boogie blues band Canned Heat, singing and playing bottleneck guitar and harmonica with the group off and on starting in 1994. Lucas paid homage to traditional blues but also carefully crafted his own singing and slide guitar style. These talents are on ample display on his Audioquest albums, including Luke and the Locomotives, Usin' Man Blues, Built for Comfort, Layaway, and Completely Blue, all released during the '90s, as well as latter-day Canned Heat albums on the Ruf and Fuel 2000 labels.
The French pianist Lucas Debargue was a Tchaikovsky Competition sensation in 2015 (although he did not win), and this studio debut gives you a good idea of what the fuss was about. Debargue offers the French tradition in all its calmly urbane glory. You might like various aspects of this release: the unapologetically pianistic but flawlessly elegant Bach Toccata, the Medtner Sonata in F minor, Op. 5. You might sample one of the movements of the latter, inasmuch as the preponderance of recordings of Medtner's solo piano music tends to favor the thunder and lightning of Marc-André Hamelin, for example.
This collection of soul/jazz tracks have two things in common: They're all quite sexy, and they were all produced by by the production team of James Mtume and Reggie Lucas. Features performances by Phyllis Hyman, Stephanie Mills, Teddy Pendergrass, the Spinners, and Lou Rawls, among others.