ZZCD 9812 – Footprints of your Life
Bill Collins is a new name to me – although he has been around for some time now – but on this , his first solo and entirely self-composed album, he reveals himself to be a smooth soulster equally adept at jazz, pop balladry, r’n’b and soul. His rich tenor voice is warm and honeyed with a pleasant edge to it, which adds texture when required and is good at all ranges and volumes; however, his mannered use of vibrato and a slightly strangled, rasping enunciation in places can be irritating. His compositions are uniformly strong, the ballads in particular displaying some fine lyrics, notably the poignant Worthless Antiques, and the band treat them with the attention to detail they deserve. Middle of the road music this might be, but the voice and compositions are individual enough to transcend that limited category.
Reviewed by: Richard Bourcier
Although not a jazz presentation in every sense of the term, the Bill Collins release, Footprints Of Your Life, is reminiscent of the vocal jazz stylings of George Benson and Al Hibbler. A fine sincere vocalist, Bill Collins offers a dozen pleasant songs in his fashion featuring jazz solos by Demetrios Pappas-keyboards, Jef Lee Johnson-guitar, Lenny Pierro-saxes and Ron Kerber-saxes. I especially liked Footprints Of Your Life, Worthless Antiques and The Good In Me. This is some very nice music from “across the pond” in Jersey, the Channel Islands.
Jazz Rag Issue 57 July/August
Several of Zah Zah’s new releases patrol the frontiers of jazz, crossing over into pop or soul or world music. Footprints Of Your Life, recorded in Springhouse, Pennsylvania, is labelled “Jazz Pop” on the box and the notes stress Bill Collins’ involvement with jazz, contemporary pop and R&B. Taken on those terms, it is an attractive album, inclining towards the ‘Easy Listening’ section of the shelves, but with more than enough variety to hold the listener. All 12 songs are Bill Collins compositions, moving from the melancholy narrative of Worthless Antiques to the uptempo swagger of Watcha Gonna Do and the soulful soul-baring of The Good In Me. Lenny Pierro contributes some telling tenor sax as well as arranging and producing, Jeff Lee Johnson’s guitar work is as versatile as the mood changes demand and the four horns muster a meaty enough sound. As for Collins himself he comes on like Van Morrison in the opening Never Give Up On You and the aggressive edge is there when needed, but he has a fine rich voice and is most at home with the smooth ballad Treatments.
MusicNewswire: DIRECT News & Reviews
“Footprints Of Your Life” Guild Music Ltd. – Zah Zah ZZCD9812 (Switzerland – U.K.) American artist Bill Collins’ new release to hit U.S. May 3rd. A good solid recording and performances. This CD delves into several different musical genres and all are very sincere and done well. It’s not one of those canned cool jazz productions that all sound like they were produced and recorded by the same person. Footprints is basic, but a cool old-style basic. It has a very nice patina that renders it ageless. Another rarity is that Bill Collins is a good singer with vocal quality. A good buy!