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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born !, 24 Jun 2006
Deinara (Hamilton, Ohio USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Powerful People (Audio CD)
That is what I remeber thinking the very first time I listened to "Powerful People". At the time, not a lot of my friends knew who Gino Vannelli was. But when I heard this album I knew everyone would soon know and I could not wait to play it for them.

Powerful People gives listeners a hint that in addition to being a talented singer, musician, and lyricist, Gino is also a superb (dare I say "powerful") arranger and orchestrator. The songs on the album that most clearly demonstrate that are, "son of a new york gun", "jack miraculous", and "powerful people". They also demonstrate that the people in the music business who label this album "soft rodk" have no idea what they are talking about.

When I hear "Jack" and " NY gun" , they make me think of song & dance numbers in a broadway musical about a "Guys and Dolls" Nathan Detroit kind-of-character. I wondered if this was really someone he knew. "Powerful people" has the sound of an orchestra playing jazz. Listening to these three wonderful songs just make me feel good.

The ballads "lady" and "jojo" are two of my favoirte songs. They showcase Gino's honeyed, crystal clear, beautiful voice (the instrument that I think he plays the best). You feel as if the songs are really personal. I imangined he was singing "lady" just for me (as did, no doubt, a million other women), and I wondered who "jojo" was, if he was really the child of a family member or friend. I never even gave Jim Croce's work much thought until listening to Gino's tribute to him made me curious about it.

"People gotta move" is a great dance number, and you just know from the lyrics that while you are having a good time grooving to the music that Gino also wants you to think a little bit too.

Herb Alpert was "a force to reckon with" in the music business in the 70's, and he produced (or got credit for) Gino's first album "Crazy Life". I always read album production and musician credits, and peruse lyrics, sometimes before I even listen to the music. One of the first things I noticed about this one was "Produced and Arranged by Gino and Joe Vannelli". Herb gets credit as an associate producer, and I wondered if he deserved it. Gino's creative control credit was a foretelling that a powerful musical force was about to make his mark in the music industry.

Gino's music has the power to makes you happy, sad, want to dance, or just chill. The power to make you care about what he cares about and, make you care about him. It does all of these things and so much more, and is simply a joy to listen to even after more than 30 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant smooth fusion of jazz and rock from a superb singer/songwriter, 18 Jan 2009
DAVE HORN "Dave Horn" (Ellington Village, Northumberland, GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Powerful People (Audio CD)
I bought and still have this on GB vinyl from when it was issued in 1974 and bought it on US import CD in 1986 at considerably less than the price it's offered at now. It's an absolutely brilliant album that can be loosely described as a fusion of jazz and rock with a little bluesy feeling thrown in for good measure. The album was so good that it persuaded me to buy his earlier offering "Storm at Sunup" and everything that he subsequently released on vinyl for some years (though nothing quite matched this in my opinion and after a few years his music did go down hill a little).

Assisted by, amongst other exceptional musicians, his brother Joe on electric piano and synthesizer, from the opening single "People Gotta Move" it's 4/5 and 5/5* ratings all the way through to the closing track "Poor Happy Jimmy", a tribute to singer/songwriter Jim Croce, then recently deceased. The album's produced and arranged by the brothers with Herb Alpert noted as associate producer and is almost too incredibly smooth for its own good. The man is not only a brilliant vocalist but also wrote the music and lyrics to every track (though at 9 tracks amounting to under 33 minutes it's extremely short on value for money, typical for many vinyl LPs of the time when you didn't notice unless you timed them on your watch - still, quality not quantity is the thing here I suppose).

Buy this 5* album as a starting point for Gino Vanelli's music then, if you are captivated by it like I was (and I'm sure that you will be) get "Storm at Sunup", followed by his later offerings in chronological order.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful music, 19 Jun 2001
This review is from: Powerful People (Audio CD)
Gino's second album is a must for any collector of quality music.A pioneer of synthesized orchestration with the help of Herb Alpert,this body of work displays tremendous maturity from one so young-Gino was approx 21 at the time.From the sensitive 'Lady' and 'Poor Happy Jimmy'to the slick jazz swing of 'Jack miraculous'and 'Son of a New York gun'.The title track being a musical tour de force and social commentary way ahead of his time.Gino is a complete artist as he writes words and music,plays a variety of instruments ,produces and obviously sings with amazing ability.His vocal gymnastics are quite incredible.I envy anyone who has yet to discover this genius as the goose bumps will definately manifest if you give a listen.Brilliant stuff!!
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Powerful People
Powerful People by Gino Vannelli (Audio CD - 2003)
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