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Jonathan Butler: So Strong

img  Tobias Fischer

Easiest way to break this down is to say that veteran jazz guitarist/ singer/ leader Butler is the Stevie Wonder of guitar.

No, he can see, what I'm saying is his vocal sound is similar, strong, upbeat and rubbery, and being that he's a guitarist rather than a keys player, the chill-combo vibe is often redolent of WeatherScan background. Untold "personal issues" plagued him last year, which can sometimes – actually always, if drugs aren't involved – bring out the best in an artist, as here, with a great set of autumn-tinted chill that's like a wool blanket for the heart. Underlining his recent setbacks is a slow, reflective, soul-filled rip of "I Can See Clearly Now."

At 48, he's aware that Ne-Yo and people like that are out there, so the album's curveball "Factual" unites Nintendo-cheese, Marvin Gaye and nu-R&B.

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Jonathan Butler

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