Jonathan Butler releases his 23rd project, “Close to You”
Many of pop music’s finest hours a few decades ago were crafted by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Through a much decorated career that still runs strong today covering recordings, musicals and soundtracks, Bacharach masterminded many of the hits for pop/soul stylist Dionne Warwick in the sixties and seventies. His extremely creative arrangements and production stressed unique instrumentation rooted in jazz sensibility.
A musician who admired Bacharach from afar is Jonathan Butler, who on his 23rd CD, Close to You, captures many of the composer’s greatest hits. The South African born singer/songwriter/guitarist spins these classics with a contemporary flavor that features disco salsa, R&B, jazz and gospel, yet never straying from the loving respect Butler has for Bacharach’s pop music history. On this Mack Avenue release, Butler opens with two dance floor tracks on “Do You Know The Way to San Jose” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” Butler’s musical roots from his native South Africa accentuate “I Say A Little Prayer.” The R&B vibe of “Walk on By” and “The Look of Love” are layered with soft percussive strokes and Butler’s impeccable tenor. Yet the absolute highlight focuses on “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” a gently sweeping gospel decorated reminder about unity within faith, culture and race. Besides the aforementioned, Close to You is filled with nothing but gems that only Jonathan Butler can design with genuine love.
The Urban Music Scene