Velours

 

Best 50 Albums of 2016 – SoulTracks
Top 5 Albums of 2016 – West Coast Music Radio
Top 5 Songs of 2016: “New York City Streets” – West Coast Music Radio

Musicians on Velours:

Valerie Ghent – vocals, piano, rhodes, clavinet, Hammond B3 organ, backing vocals
Eluriel ‘Tinker’ Barfield – bass
Kevin Johnson, Franck Taieb, Philippe Jardin – drums
Jérôme Buigues – guitar, bass, backing vocals
Robin Macatangay – guitar
Pierre Sibille – harmonica, synth, B3 on 30 Days
Bashiri Johnson – percussion
Rob Mounsey – strings on “Light In My Life”
Alfa Anderson, Keith Fluitt, Dennis Collins, John James, Ada Dyer – backing vocals
Mano “Korani” Camara – guest lead vocal “Love Divine”
Steven Bernstein, Marc Borlet-Hôte – trumpet
Paul Shapiro, Nicolas Baudino – tenor saxophone
Briggan Kraus – baritone sax
Dan Levine – trombone

Arrangements:

Rob Mounsey – String Arrangement “Light In My Life”
Jérôme Buigues – String Arrangement “Linger”
Jérôme Buigues, Valerie Ghent & Nicolas Baudino – Horn Arrangement “New York City Streets”
Paul Shapiro – Horn Arrangement “30 Days”
John James – Backing Vocal Arrangement “Light In My Life”

Recording:

Recorded at Systems Two (Brooklyn), Studio Blues’UP (France), Soultune Studios (France)
Additional Recording at Studio La Reine Jeanne (France), Shelter Island Sound (NYC), The Lab (Brooklyn), East Side Sound (NYC), Above Asia (NYC), Jam On It (NYC)

Engineers: Jérôme Buigues, Mike Marciano, Steve Addabo, Valerie Ghent, Roc Isaacs, Marc Urselli
Assistant Engineers: Bill Way, Veronica Wyman (NYC)
Mixed by Jérôme Buigues
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound
Produced by Valerie Ghent

All songs by Valerie Ghent
except Love Divine by Valerie Ghent & Mano “Korani” Camara, It’s Got To Be You by Valerie Ghent & Tom Bisio, Get Funkay by Valerie Ghent & Jérôme Buigues, Linger by Valerie Ghent, Tom Bisio & Judy Tint

Published Valerie Ghent/Cavos Music (ASCAP)
© 2016 Valerie Ghent/West Street Records

About Velours:

On her fourth solo album, Velours, Valerie draws on the full range of her talents forged over 20+ years working with music luminaries Ashford & Simpson, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Debbie Harry & Billy Preston to deliver a breathtaking, spell-binding performance that draws the listener in and never lets go.

Recorded in the South of France and NYC, the 11 original songs on Velours propel the listener from the transcendent luminosity and opening invocation of Love Divine to the exuberant Get Funkay, from the unstoppable New York City Streets to the heart-stopping ballad, Light in My Life.  The mesmerizing funk groove of title song Velours literally flows into the American-songbook inspired Linger (with accompanying string quartet), while future R+B classic It’s Got To Be You plays smooth counterpoint to the reggae-inspired Phased and the gospel blues of 30 Days. The deep groove of On & On flows like a river, and Love Will Keep Me Strong brings us back to the source.

Backed up by a band of internationally acclaimed musicians and vocalists from NYC, France and Guinea, Velours takes the listener on a journey through smooth soul, feel-good R+B, intimate ballads, sun-drenched reggae and pure funk. Featuring A-list musicians playing live on each song, Valerie has conjured up a hot, authentic sound, recording live with real musicians. “Real music you can touch.”

From Valerie:
The music on Velours was born in France, both in recording and as a title. During our first session in Provence, in February, 2014, I knew magic was happening. One month later, we had a second session in NYC. Just as magical, we recorded five songs that day. The third session, in June, 2015 was again in France. Velours emerged from those three days of recording, six songs in France & five in NYC, with overdubs in NYC & France, then mixed in France by Jérôme Buigues. And the title? Years ago I heard people in Paris say ‘velours’ when something was cool. I loved the word, the sound & the usage so much it inspired the title song. In addition to recording on both sides of the Atlantic, the music on Velours coincided with my reconnecting with long-lost family in France. Magical really….an incredible journey of re-discovery, history and love.

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