Review – ‘Reasons’ by Lindsey Webster

Vocal Jazz is back with the release of Reasons, Lindsey Webster‘s latest effort. This is the singer/songwriter’s sixth album, and the recording schedule was a little unusual. Reasons was recorded during three different sessions, starting August 2021, with a second session at the end of January 2022 with the final session wrapping in May 2022.

“I think that the pandemic really forced me to look inward, giving me deeper insights into who I am, which made it easier for me to say what I was feeling in these songs,” shares Lindsey, who was first cellist in High School and continues to play to this day.  “I reached a new level of not caring if what I said might offend someone.”

She brought on some friends, including Nathan East, Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, Brian Culbertson, Lil John Roberts, Kev Choice, and Lenny Castro.

Let’s see what’s up here!

Review – ‘Reasons’ by Lindsey Webster

We lead off with I Didn’t Mean It. The track features Brian Culbertson, BUT he is not on the piano, but he plays the trombone and trumpet on the track. Culbertson kills it with the horn section. The feel is a classic vocal jazz track, and we are getting some serious Manhattan Transfer vibes here. Webster is in full effect, exuding her cool vocal style.

Nathan East is featured on Love of Your Life. This is not your average slow jam, as you immediately get a slower funk feel. They have definitely taken some cues of today’s RnB style. Webster’s vocals sound effortless throughout, and East channels George Benson, as he scats along with his bass solo.

In Just The Night, Webster keeps it simple. Longtime collaborator, Keith Slattery is stellar on the piano. Webster is out there just vibin’, and it is obvious that they have worked together for many years. You will probably find yourself in a trance, enthralled by this piece of music.

We get a little Neo Soul thing happening with Stay With Me. Webster has us feeling like we are at open mic night with the New Jack beat, and the rap from Kev Choice. Randy Brecker is also featured on flugelhorn, and this is a track we would consider to be Nu Jazz.

Wish You Well is next. Swanky is a good way to describe this track. The horn section gives it some sass, and we are digging Webster’s tone, which sits on the lower end during the verses. This is a well-crafted song.

If there is such a thing as a signature Lindsey Webster sound, then The Way fits that description. Understated vocals during the verse, then the sound “expands” during the hook, and a nice solo of some sort. In this case, Keith Slattery offers a nice synth solo midway through. This will no doubt be released as a single.

After the sultry 4am interlude, Twin Flame is next. If slow jams are your thing, then you will need to add this to your playlist. Everything is great – the sounds of the instruments, the vocal arrangement, and especially the vocals.

In You Take Me, we get a nice mid-tempo track, where we focus on the cohesiveness of the band. It is just straight keyboards, bass, drums, and guitar. We also get a nice synth solo toward the end, giving us a great overall track. 

The title track, Reasons, is next. This is another RnB based offering from Webster. We feel she is at her best when she mixes it up with the RnB elements. This is a song that is very radio friendly, and can be played on several different formats.

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton guests on I’m OK. The horn arrangement is tight, especially the trumpet solo, and that really enhances Webster’s vocal performance. Overall, this is a great song to end the album, with it’s semi-upbeat tempo.  

Well, not quite the end of the album. There is a bonus version – A Soul Jazz Mix of Stay With Me, and that is the official last track on the album.

Reasons feels like a collective effort, and they really hit it out of the park with the song choices, and guest musicians. Webster and Slattery continue their musical partnership, and it will continue to be a winning combination. You can stream Reasons starting September 9th.

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