The Tim Terry Experience, the debut CD from smooth soul sensation Tim Terry, is already available on CD Baby and iTunes. When it is released nationally in April of 2005 its likely to trigger major success for this artist who has cut his teeth performing with major names in the R & B and gospel genres. It could be said Tim Terry is a product of his background and his influences. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee he moved to Nashville at the age of eighteen before relocating to San Diego. However, the heritage of the music that Memphis represents and the sheer soulfulness of the place tugged at his heart strings and, in 2003, led him back home. Now, returned to where he feels he belongs, he reflects on that fact that his journeys have been part of his musical education and have enabled him to experience first hand both the soulful and the smooth sides of the music that is his driving passion. He cites Marvin Gaye among his major musical influences and the first record he ever bought was Gaye's seminal ‘What's Going On'. With Prince, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and the architects of the Memphis soul sound Isaac Hayes and Al Green, all having a bearing on his musical development, its not difficult to see where Tim Terry has come from or the heights to which he is destined to go.
Despite that, it would be paying Tim Terry a great disservice to suggest that he is only the sum of the parts from where his influences have been drawn. As a keyboard player and vocalist he is the supreme artist with his music being compared to that of former Tony Toni Tone front man Raphael Wiggins, aka Grammy winner Raphael Saadiq. His production techniques differentiate his work, enable it to stand on its own and allow it to be judged on its own merits.
It is almost as if the last six years have been building toward the release of The Tim Terry Experience. Coinciding with his move to San Diego and interspersed with extensive session work, Tim backed George Duke in 1999 and, in the same year, played keyboards for inspirational / smooth jazz crossover saxophonist Kirk Whalum. In 2000 he was on keyboards for those funksters with a little bit extra, Cameo, and, in 2004, for fellow Memphis native, Shirley Brown. Throughout all that time Tim was working on writing and co-writing the eleven songs that are contained on the CD.
Immersed again in the Memphis soul scene Tim, now backed by his own band, has become the ‘must call guy' as opening act for such artists as Anthony Hamilton, Kem, Dwele, George Duke, Wayman Tisdale, Eric Roberson, Tito Jackson and Boys II Men whenever they are in town. His band regulars include Philip Coleman on bass, Tauris Turner on drums, Jonathon Richmond on keyboards, Angelo Earl on guitar and backing vocals being provided by Angela Cage, Marlon Boyce and Katrina Hoof.
With the release of The Tim Terry Experience he has stepped into center stage with a collection of tracks that are tight, compact, and with a distinctly sensual vibe. Recorded at Ardent Studios Memphis and at Hitnum Studios in San Diego the album was mixed at Prince's Paisley Park in Minneapolis and includes at least five tracks that finds Tim Terry standing shoulder to shoulder with Will Downing and Luther Vandross as the modern day masters of the seduction set. In doing so his contemporary sound will appeal to a whole new listening generation but the album is not simply a background for champagne, roses and silk sheets.
‘Dance Floor', held down with a great beat, a compelling hook and lots of understated energy implores the listener to get up and dance. ‘I'm Ready' is an easy paced classically constructed piece of smooth soul that first builds then beautifully flows, while ‘Slippin' is an up tempo feel good tune with stand out horns reminiscent of Tower of Power.
The CD, co-produced by Terry and Angelo Earl, shuns samples and loops in favor of live instruments, church bred vocals and great melodies. This makes the The Tim Terry Experience an honest and refreshing change to much of the new music of today. It is a worthy showcase for an artist from whom we are certain to hear much more in the years to come.
By Denis Poole