Leroy has become a steady in my playlists. Although he had replaced Curtis Mayfield in the Impression (1971) and has been around for a long time, his name did not ring a bell with me. (Actually, I don’t remember very much of the Impression without Curtis Mayfield.) Unfortunately so, because I was missing out on some excellent music. The first song by Leroy I’ve ever heard was I’m In Love With You Girl. And the more of his music I heard, the more I loved it. There was no way around noticing his extraordinary talent.
The first track I am posting today, So In Love, is definitely reminiscent of Donny Hathaway’s — which is really not a great surprise. The two men were room-mates at Howard University. Leroy has also collaborated with Donny on The Ghetto which became a huge hit in the early seventies.
But this man is all about versatility. He even has some strong Smokey-Robinson-inflections to offer. In Love Oh Love from the homonymous album, he definitely sounds as though he were Smokey’s little brother. I love that song for the rhythm and the perfect horn section, however, not so much for Leroy’s singing. His strength clearly lies with composing, producing and arranging music.
The second title, I Bless The Day, offers itself as background music to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, I think. Strings and saxophone are backed with beautiful vocals. I Bless The Day creates that special mood and will bring out the long lost perfect lover in us. Guaranteed!
Although his voice is not necessarily fascinating — his music absolutely is. This man is as versatile as any artist can possibly be, and it’s not surprising that he’s in the jazz business nowadays.
(Titles in comment section)