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Review: James Labrosse’s Orange Night, a fine representation of modern Flamenco-Jazz

The full-length is a handsome body of music that speaks to the tradition of the genre.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist
James Labrosse's cover art for 'Orange Night'
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Not much can attest to how calming and free Smooth Jazz tends to make you feel. The opening track of the album is short and earthy with sounds that reminds me of the soundtrack to ‘Titanic’, the 1997 drama film. Shortly after, we are met with the sultry and classic vocals by singer Melissa McMillan over a snap-worthy, head-bopping beat. As she sings about ways to keep her lover interested, I cannot help but think of Anita Baker, for some reason. Perhaps, it was the subtle instrumentation and the texture of McMillan’s voice. Next, there’s a male vocalist (Jonathan Hoard) who sings about time working in funny ways on the title track.

His vocals soar toward the end of the track. ‘Pre-Nostalgia’ and ‘Post-Nostalgia’ are what they say they are, nostalgic. There would hardly be words, but the instruments spoke a language of their own. As a little girl, I could almost fill in the melodies and words whenever I listened to that kind of music. I think ‘Post-Nostalgia’ is a little ‘edgier’ than the album’s previous track, but it all gels well. Nearly shocked from the way the album was going, but impressed, I didn’t expect to hear the Latin vocals come in at the very end of the album. ‘La Mañana’ is an outstanding track, sung by Angeles Toledano.

Finally, the artist’s debut full-length is a handsome body of music that speaks to the tradition of Flamenco-Jazz. I can appreciate how he travels (creatively) from one place to another.


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is part of the Complex Day Ones, an exclusive community to help make the Complex experiences even better.