Les Dion | Back 2 Smooth

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United States - Florida

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Urban/R&B: Smooth Soul Jazz: Soul-Jazz Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Back 2 Smooth

by Les Dion

Raising the bar of R&B from sex to SUBSTANCE. Les Dion brings 40 yrs of Vocal and Musical prowess into 14 Romantic, and Inspiring songs. Old School R&B meets New School Jazz.....but this time with a message.
Genre: Urban/R&B: Smooth Soul
Release Date: 

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1. Back 2 Smooth
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3:52 album only
2. Stay
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3:48 album only
3. I Belong to You
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4:53 album only
4. Mirror of Your Heart
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3:39 album only
5. Gotta Believe
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3:44 album only
6. Your Love Is What I Need
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3:31 album only
7. Teach Me Tonight
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4:11 album only
8. Changin My Tone
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4:24 album only
9. Callin
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3:52 album only
10. Getaway
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3:57 album only
11. Godstrong
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3:31 album only
12. Make That Change
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3:26 album only
13. Back 2 Smooth (Lounge Mix)
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3:52 album only
14. Heaven
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4:28 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
From Tragedy to Triumph, Les Dion has risen from the ashes of Disaster to bring forth one of the Smoothest, Jazziest R&B records in decades! "Back 2 Smooth" is the incredibly inspiring result of an amazing 40 year life story told through the songs of an extraordinary Artist. Les Dion has survived the unthinkable and his divine wisdom and understanding are the driving forces behind this beautiful new LP. Not since the likes of Al Jarreau and Marvin Gaye have we seen an Artist of this caliber arise on the worlds music stage. The "Back 2 Smooth" Project delivers that 40 year story eloquently, at times tearfully, but always in a unique Jazzy groove that is distinctly Les Dion.

From Label deals at 12 years old with All-Platinum/ SugarHill Record's Hiphop mogul Sylvia Robinson, to world tour appearances with New Edition, and Earth Wind and Fire, Les Dion has prepared for this moment a lifetime. Through the 70'sand 80's, he persued musical success relentlessly, even forsaking multiple Pre-Med Scholarships and, a stellar six year Military Tour of Duty. "The only thing more elusive than a successful Music Career may have been Bin Laden", jokes Les, but the battle to maintain Musical focus throughout his amazing journey has been no joke at all.

Upon coming to terms with the disappointing realities of the Record Business in 1989, Les Dion settled into family life with a new wife, determined to raise a family of seven honorably. The family responsibilities somehow never overshadowed the burning drive to write and record the story of his amazing life. From the victory of a gruelling 10 year Leukemia battle faced by his courageous wife, to the crushing blow of burying his two 20 year old sons, the challenges have been both enormous and relentless. "Raising five children was a daunting task, but burying my precious sons 2 years apart was just pure hell", proclaims Les, but as the tragedies mounted, so did the songs.

After Producing and Recording multiple Contemporary Christian Albums on his JJireh Records Label from 1996-2003, the music industry realities continued to thwart every effort. With no Major Label affiliation, distributors and radio personalities were simply not interested in dealing with Independent Artist. Depleted of energy and drive after his second son's death, Les had begun to lose hope in ever having any real success in music but, by God's grace, 2006- 2012 brought dramatic change. " I had time away from work to heal emotionally, and of course we all know how dramaticlly the Music Industry began to change with the rise of Bitorrents, Youtube, Facebook, and internet Radio. An Artist like myself who had been independent for decades suddenly had all the tools that were once only availabe to the Major Labels". Tools to publish, distribute, promote, and Air on radio worldwide!! Les Dion's musical vision suddenly had new hope. He developed an Elegant solo jazz show with pianist Rolando Salva called "The Classic Standard Show" performing hits from the greats like Sinatra, Bennett, Mathis, and Cole. "That Era brought forth some of the greatest vocalist and best songs of our time, so its a blast to have the opportunity to interpret them and I still perform the show, but I realized one day that my journey was really about telling my story, through my own songs. Realizing that I could now publish and air them worldwide with no restrictions was an enlightening moment", says Les. "The road has been long and steep but if my songs can help people improve their relationships with each other and more importantly, improve themselves, then I will have succeeded and, my tragic losses will not have been in vain".


"Back 2 Smooth" is the vehicle that delivers this soul felt message to a worldwide audience. Raising the bar of R&B from sex to substance, the project is an ambient musical blend of smooth Jazz meeting old school R&B. Drenched in warm emotions, and syncopated rhythms, it is sure to please musical pallets of all kinds. No matter where your genre preferences lie, "Back 2 Smooth" brings a melodic delight of Jazz shades and R&B hues that will find you humming, dancing, thinking, and escaping from the worries of life. From the soothing melodies in the title track and 1st Single "Back 2 Smooth", to the Jazzy rhythms of "Love is What I Need", the insightful harmonic flow never looses its velvety touch. The scatty syncopated feel of "Getaway", is subtly complimented with the beautiful falsetto cries of "Stay". " I even got a chance to record the classic "Teach Me Tonight" by the great Sammy Cahn"! The silky flow of "Back 2 Smooth" makes it Les's favorite ( with the great Patrick McDonald on guitar), but the raw emotional message of "Heaven" may be the most powerful recording on the Album. "Heaven was the easiest song I've ever written lyrically because of the pain from my family lose, yet it was by far the most difficult song I've ever recorded". "Callin" and "Godstrong" are also special songs for me as they're dedicated to my daughter and son.

Les Dion has created and is now delivering "the Album of a lifetime" precisely the way he has always wanted through his music and film companies Entrascope Music Group & LD Films. Be sure to experience the Quintuple threat that is Les Dion; singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and music executive, with his highly anticipated new release..... "Back 2 Smooth".....the culmination of where this multi-talented Artist has been, and where he is destined to go.



Reviews


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Justin Kantor

Les Dion - Back 2 Smooth
Patience is a virtue. It can pay off in the most fruitful of creative results, as evidenced by Back 2 Smooth,
the secular debut album of New Jersey native Les Dion. After several decades of close calls and deals gone bad, the singer-songwriter delivers a cohesive set of relaxed, yet upbeat, R&B gems tailored for those who like their vibes positive—their musical moods sweet.
Opening with the supple groove of the title track, Back 2 Smooth is a consistently pleasing showcase of a tenderhearted tenor vocalist with an understanding of lyrical and musical authenticity. Dion's phrasing floats gently atop layers of breezy guitars on "Back 2 Smooth," an Isley Brothers-inspired midtempo joint propelled by emotive chord progressions. "Dinner was perfect, the movie was sweet," he lightly coaxes during the first verse of "Stay," the second track. His falsetto treatment of this ballad brings to mind Russell Thompkins, Jr., and is a solid indicator of the notable range displayed throughout the CD. Likewise, Dion's unassuming approach to lyrics here is exemplary of the sensitivity to be found on each selection.
"Until I hear your heartbeat pounding next to mine, I've got work to do/'Til every single star up in the sky knows that I belong to you." These charmingly vulnerable and honest lines from the slow-jam "I Belong to You" are sure to win the hearts of female listeners searching for a respite from over-sexified lotharios pitching pseudo-romantic phrases to the masses. On the contagious "Your Love Is What I Need," Dion reassures: "I ain't like the other guys, tryin' to get between your thighs." Coupled with a shuffling dance beat, the fluid sax lines make for a unique accompaniment to his marked urgency during the chorus.
Carrying a similarly sprightly groove, the catchy "Callin'" recalls the rhythmic flow of Anita Baker's "Sweet Love" while telling a tale of going to all lengths to recover a love lost in the lines of miscommunication. Meanwhile, "Godstrong" keeps the knack for head-nodding while focusing on overcoming personal barriers: "You're ticked off, It's only 'cause you can't get up off that negative/Forget about the cause...the answer...is right around the way." The song is a zenith of Dion's struggles as an artist to reach his present state of self-sufficient creativity. As the eleventh track on Back 2 Smooth, it would make for an ideal closer to the set. But he provides a different sort of listening therapy with the final selection, "Heaven"—a moving dedication to his two late sons, both of whom passed at age 20.
Back 2 Smooth is a refreshing collection of unaffected, uncluttered R&B with thoughtful messages and melodic glow. Tinged with bits of smooth-jazz guitar and chord structures, the content is largely both laid-back and danceable. There are one or two songs that aren't absolutely essential to the package; but in totality, Les Dion has proffered a satiating, independently produced CD that stands a cut above even many of his major-label contemporaries' efforts—thanks to a genuine vision and skilled performance. Highly recommended.
by Justin Kantor