Stevie Wonder like you have never heard him before is what you get in Vernon Neilly and Friends A Tribute To Stevie Wonder. As is tradition on Neilly's past award winning and Billboard Retail Charting recording projects, Vernon put together some of the best talent in the world to pay homage to one of the most creative, genius music minds of all time, Motown legend Stevie Wonder. Because of Stevie's iconic status it was no easy feat to be able to take on some of his tremendous body of work, and make it original sounding without taking away from the essence of these timeless songs. The all-star team of world class musicians include Grammy Award winning bassist Juan Nelson (Ben Harper), guitar virtuoso Greg Howe (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, N-Sync, Enrique Iglesias), guitar virtuoso Kiko Loureiro (Angra), jazz guitar sensation U-Nam, guitar virtuoso Bill Hudson (Cellador, Coldera, Fresh Meat), sax sensation and virtuoso Michael Paulo (Al Jarreau, Earth Wind and Fire, Peter White), and some new stunning vocal talent. You may have heard the works of Stevie Wonder re-done before at some point in time, but you have never heard Stevie like this!
Boosweet founder and front-runner, guitarist Vernon Neilly hits one out of the park for guitarcentric music lovers with his all-star salute to pop icon, Stevie Wonder in A TRIBUTE TO STEVIE WONDER. This one is summer hot with special guitar hero guests including great Greg Howe (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake), Grammy Award-winning bassist Juan Nelson (Ben Harper), numero uno progressive guitar virtuoso and label mate, Kiko Loureiro, as well as Smooth Jazz favorites, French guitarist U-Nam and saxophonist Michael Paulo (Al Jarreau, EWF). Neilly assembled musicians from several formats and three continents to pay tribute to the living legend. Stevie Wonder's catalog is bursting with classics and chart-topping hits... Vernon and Friends approach the tunes with great respect and while honoring the brilliance of their composer by remaining integral to Wonder's melodic structure; they stretch out and push the edges of the envelope. Fans of Stevie, fans of guitar virtuosity and fans of music will dig this one! --Sandy Shore, Smooth Jazz.com founder
The first thing I would like to say is that I don't like Tribute CD's. If I want to hear an artist, I like listening to the original. Some tribute CD's sound exactly like the original, with the same arrangements and the artists doing their best to impersonate the original singer...Yuk! While on some tribute CD's the performing artist style dominates the Tribute CD so much that the artist they are honoring is unrecognizable. That said this is an awesome CD! It has the perfect balance of originality in the arrangements but enough of the original artist shines through to truly be called a TRIBUTE CD. Or maybe I like it so much because I just love Stevie Wonder! I was raised with his music and this CD has some of my favorite songs included. One of the best things about this CD is there is a lot of instrumentals I guess you would call it instrumentals it actually sounds like the guitars are singing, which to me is a lot different than a guitar solo. My favorite songs are the instrumentals on this endeavor. They are sometimes the best vocalists on the CD. The first song to grace my ears was Boogie On Reggae Woman . This instrumental was awesome and I think the only way it wouldn t get someone listening to it to move was if they were dead. It was a great way to start of the CD because it makes you want to listen to more of the gems that grace this production. If there was ever a song that made the guitar solo sound like vocals, this is the one. Greg Howe put in an awesome piece of work. This version of the Stevie Wonder classic does NOT need words to get the message, the feeling or the song across. I like it better than the original! Next up is I Wish , and we have the same thing going on here. Guitarist Kiko Laureiro is the best vocalist I never heard sing! The artists that comprise this CD have to be some of the best at expressing their art through their music. The vocals on this piece are superb. Kiko keep up the great work! I am still wondering how I can hear the words so vividly without any actual vocals. Maybe it s just the spirit of the song and the artist. Really, if you love music, you will love this CD. --Stephanie Radmacher, Rock Eyez.com
Smoothie Award winning jazz guitarist Vernon Neilly s new CD - featuring the Legendary Hit Maker Stevie Wonder s music - is chocked full of Wonder s hit songs. The album reeks of Pure Class. Vernon has out done himself with the arrangements, recording, and engineering of this sweet music. The record label owner and producer has taken those celebrated hits and has made them flawlessly and collectively all his own. The CD is Vernon s fourth on his Boosweet Records. The diversity the album gives ranges from Jazz, Fusion, Pop to Rock. Having Greg Howe and Kiko Loureiro (progressive guitarists) on board has definitely set the bar for the other musicians involved. Other instrumentalists featured on the album with Neilly include U-Nam, Juan Nelson, Michael Paulo and Miguel Mega (Brazilian guitarist) and they also don't hesitate to also step out into the lime light to bring us some serious tunes. From this new breed of illustrious artist you will hear a lot of Stevie's favorite hits: Stevie Wonder's Boogie on Reggae Woman recorded twice as Rock, and Urban/Pop,I Wish, which has a Jazz-Fusion sound. What you don't hear in these songs is musicians stepping all over themselves trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. The song Superstition has a Heavy Rock sound and vocals, Sir Duke has a Pop sound, Isn t She Lovely has two versions - Urban/Pop and Smooth Jazz, I Was Made To Love You, the first single off the album has a smooth Jazz feel as well, Don t You Worry about a Thing, For Once in My Life which has a Pop vibe and vocals. The singers did a wonderful job nailing Stevie Wonder s vocal vibe. I give this wonderfully arranged and played cd a perfect for a being a tribute album... I think this CD will be up for some sort of award in the near future... I bank my money on it! --Scott Thomas, Cashbox Magazine.com