After a number of years paying her dues as a backup singer and recording for a number of indie labels with mixed success, Marilyn Scott finally brings her crisp, romantic vocal stylings to Warner Bros. on Take Me With You, a stylish potpourri of pop, soul, jazz and Brazilian influences tailor made to fit the definition of the finest in Adult Contemporary music. While Scott's powerful yet subtle and smoky voice ties all the loose threads together, the collection's strengths lie in its frolicsome diversity. Scott changes moods depending on the producer du jour. George Duke elicits cool, straightforward pop, while longtime cohorts Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip forge her range from standard to hip-hop influenced jazz. Ironically, the most exciting track, a percolating Brazilian treatment of Stevie Wonder's "Bird of Beauty," is also the least commercial from a corporate marketing standpoint. Without the radio typical sheen, producer Dori Caymmi allows Scott to romp through a loping playground where even elegant Kevyn Lettau-like Portuguese is within the realm. Perhaps the reason it's taken Scott so long to break through on a higher level is the type of stunning diversity typified here. It's been worth the wait.
A top-notch adult contemporary vocalist still awaiting a well-deserved crossover commercial breakthrough, Marilyn Scott adds powerful fuel to her cause on Avenues of Love by helping herself with a well-balanced array of production and songwriting talent. George Duke surrounds her with party voices and a kneejerking Latin groove on a playful list of dance steps on "I Like to Dance," then surrounds her clear, sensuous voice with airy, billowing synth cushioning on the Bacharach-David classic "The Look of Love." Scott and bassist Jimmy Haslip reroute to Memphis on Michael Ruff's Wilson Pickett-like pick me up, "Love Is a Powerful Thing," engaging a two-piece horn section that sounds even larger. The Yellowjacket touch is in full effect on the picturesque "Avenida del Sol," which approximates an update of the gentle Astrud Gilberto sound; the tune was written by Scott and Bob Mintzer, and produced by Scott, Haslip, and Russell Ferrante. Scott's greatest gift here is her sense of modulation; she belts like crazy on the funk pieces, but recognizes the emotional power of restraint on the ballads.
Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and '80s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. His own term for himself was "bluesologist", which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues." His music, most notably on Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul.
Fraternity were an Australian rock band which formed in Sydney in 1970 and relocated to Adelaide in 1971. Former members include successive lead vocalists Bon Scott (who later joined AC/DC), John Swan (who also played drums and later had a solo career), and his brother Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel). Their biggest local hit was a cover version of "Seasons of Change" which peaked at No. 1 in Adelaide, but nationally it was overrun by the original Blackfeather version. The group won the 1971 Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds with the prize being a free trip to London. Fraternity went through various line-ups and was renamed as Fang, Fraternity (again), Some Dream and finished as Mickey Finn in 1981.