Best 50 Albums of 2016 – Soul Tracks
Top 5 Albums of 2016 – West Coast Music Radio
#2 Song of 2016 – New York City Streets – West Coast Music Radio
"'New York City Streets' Luther meets Ashford & Simpson with a driving piano lead, bringing back those inimitable Chic and Luther Vandross moments in the super-slick hook, supported by a cool horn section. A real gem!"- Gina Loves Jazz
"'New York City Streets' took me straight back to The Crusaders & Street Life… it just has that wonderful vibe and a timeless feel." – BeehiveCandy.com
"It’s not simply Valerie Ghent’s exploration of genres that shows her versatility – it’s her emotionality, vast range & vocal prowess, along with the backing of top musicians that make this a solid album with wide appeal!" – Wouter Kellerman
“Valerie Ghent, a “kick-butt” artist…that kind of quality never goes out of style"
– Soul Tracks
"I swore [Linger] was a cover of a Great American Songbook standard when I first heard it….those lyrics have the quality Tin Pan Alley writers gave to tunes of the first half of the 20th Century” – Soul Tracks
“One of the most satisfying collections of a broad spectrum of vocal music to come along in a long time. Superb on every level." – Grady Harp
On her fourth solo album, Velours, Valerie Ghent 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.”
MUSICIANS & VOCALISTS:
Eluriel “Tinkr” Barfield – bass
Kevin Johnson, Philippe Jardin, Franck Taieb – drums
Bashiri Johnson – percussion
Robin Macatangay – guitar
Valerie Ghent – piano, rhodes, clavinet, B3 organ, vocals, backing vocals
Jérôme Buigues – guitars, backing vocals, additional keyboards
Pierre Sibille – harmonica, synth
Dave Eggar – cello
Katie Kresek – violin & viola
Alfa Anderson, Dennis Collins, Keith Fluitt, John James, Ada Dyer – backing vocals
Mano “Korani” Camara – guest lead vocal "Love Divine"
Steven Bernstein, Marc Borlet-Hôte – trumpet
Paul Shapiro, Nicolas Baudino – saxophones
Briggan Krauss – baritone sax
Dan Levine – trombone
Recorded by: Valerie Ghent, Jérôme Buigues, Steve Addabbo, Mike Marciano
Mixed by Jérôme Buigues
Mastered by Greg Calbi