The New Mexico-born, New York artist makes his Manhattan Records debut with STATE OF MIND, produced by Arif Mardin and Joe Mardin. This 13-track collection of Midon originals ia a remarkable melange of soul, R&B, pop, folk, jazz and latin. This album places on display his earnest, lyrical songwriting; full-bodied voacals steeped in soul; a singular syncopated, flamenco and jazz-infused acoustic guitar style; a unique vocal trumpet inprovisation; and hopeful disposition.
Raul Midons debut State of Mind is the sort of CD that makes R&B tastemakers twitch with pleasure. These 13 tracks are so supple, round and rich its safe to say the blind, New Mexico-born, half-Argentinean R&B/jazz artist is a unique hybrid of Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. There has been a lot of speculation as to whether his sightlessness has helped Midon arrive at his Wonder-esque soul and scary-real talent. Weigh in if you want, but don't expect to arrive at any satisfying conclusions. Midon, like Wonder, Hathaway, and Al Jarreau, is the rare artist so clearly delivered to this earth for the sole purpose of making beautiful music. Drawing from pop, reggae, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and flamenco wells, Midon twists together a wonderful genre grab-bag strong enough to rival Seal. Two highlights, on an album full of them, arrive on track seven "Expressions of Love," when Stevie Wonder steps in for a harmonica solo, and on "Keep on Hoping," where Midon duets with the talented folk/ blues artist Jason Mraz. -Tammy La Gorce
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