FLAV MARTIN & JERRY MAROTTA
(2018 -self release – USA)
From the promo sheet “Soul Redemption is a harmonious blend of modern adult rock and traditional world music” one might be a bit misled. The harmonious modern adult rock is exact but the traditional world music is limited to Latin and Italian pop and folk. The other surprise for some might be the fact of this not having a single stitch of progressive rock style, seeing that Peter Gabriel’s old rhythm section (Jerry Marotta – drums/percussion and Tony Levin – bass) are on it throughout. Flav Martin wrote all the songs and Jerry produced the album. Also backing up the duo are their long time friends Peter Primamore (piano), Thor Jensen (guitar), Marc Shulman (guitar), and Gary Schreiner (harmonica/accordion).
What we have is a very nice collection of classic soft rock, with the sound of the 70’s. After all, Flav (guitar and vocals) has performed with David Crosby, Al Stewart, Suzanne Vega, and dozens more. His writing credits spread as wide as Saturday Night Live and PBS. Of course Jerry Marotta is famous for being with Peter Gabriel, Orleans, Hall & Oats, and Sarah MacLachlan to name a few. Get ready for a sitting of melodic easy listening pop ballads. Not far from the stylings of America, Jerry Rafferty, Jim Croce, and Dan Fogelberg, except for two songs Flav did not write ( ‘Tell Me To My Face’ which is a Latin pop delight written by Allan Clarke,Tony Hicks and Graham Nash , and then ‘Coffee Song’ by Giancarlo Bigami, Riccardo Del Turco, and Giorgio Antola). The music will be fully appreciated by the folks over 50 who will say “they don’t make music like that anymore”. ‘Soul Redemption’ will hopefully make younger people also take note and hear what great song writing is about. Marotta does a superb job on the production and the performances are first rate. For those missing the classic radio pop of the 1970’s, this is one you need to buy.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson 6 – 30 – 2018