Label: Motown Released: December 2020
Tiana Major9 presents ‘Back at Sixes and Sevens’ - 6 stripped back versions of tracks from her August album ‘At Sixes and Sevens’. There is obviously a rare element to Tiana Major9, a Musical call to service. So pure is her work, that she actually provides the answers to the unanswerable when it comes to love. Whilst Tiana could sing the alphabet and make you cry, her further exposed talent on this record opened me up to ideas about love that I had quite forgotten.
The instrumentation and arranging, for my money, is a true recalling of the roots of R&B. The electric and acoustic piano of gorgeous opener ‘...Exclusively’ remain present for the project's entirety. The classical & steel strung guitar work for me is a big part of the project’s humility, it’s so unaffected. In the ‘Think About You’ solo the vocal and electric guitar are in partial unison and in this context showcases further what a great depth of Jazz ability is present here.
Music production’s brilliance has allowed us to hear top tier musicianship via meticulously crafted sounds, but very little beats the unplugged experience when it comes to Jazz. This is seen to great effect on ‘Real Affair’ - a smoker’s anthem, reminiscent of the most cool moments of Brandy and Amy Winehouse. There is a change of chord I believe underneath the line “Tougher than Voodoo, who knew, she’s stronger than you” that I don’t think is present in the original, that really hit my gut. In short, this project is a balm for the souls of lovers, let it break down your pretences. In case I forgot to mention the perfection of the vocals, what can I say - I only wish I had the words.