Jerry Velona – About Funk in Time
CD: 14 Songs, 54 Minutes
Styles: Blues Covers, Soul, Funk, R&B
About Funk in Time, the new album from New Jersey’s Jerry Velona, is the kind of CD that might be featured in a sequel to The Wedding Singer. His multitalented ensemble (check the liner notes for the full list of performers) plays music that’s colorful, fun, entertaining, and a tad bit goofy. On three original compositions and eleven blues, soul, funk and R&B covers, Velona and company go all out on the instrumentation. However, Jerry’s vocals are an acquired taste. He does all right on “It’s Alright,” a terrific sing-along, and “She’s So Good to Me” ain’t bad, either. However, he’s just not a crooner. Witness his version of “I Have Dreamed” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Sound familiar? It’s from The King and I – the original Broadway production, not the movie. Jerry tries his best, but all the magic’s in the background, not the microphone. He’s at his best when performing his own material, such as “Dope Springs Eternal” (a meditation on his less-than-stellar love life) and “Tight Little Suit,” a tight little ditty about road rage. Overall, this release is a must-have for fans, but those who’ve never heard of Mr. Velona might be at a loss.
Jerry certainly boasts an impressive curriculum vitae. His voice has been used in radio and TV commercials, a cartoon pilot and the song “At Last (There’s You)” from the documentary film Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown. His songs have been used on MTV Cribs as well as an HBO special, and have received significant international airplay. He won a Billboard songwriting award for “Hip Hop No More.” “Dream Girl,” another of his original works, reached #20 on the smooth jazz charts.
Velona is determined to not let his life experience go unrecorded. About this new album, he says, “I’m hoping to connect the generations with some of this great music, as it has connected my personal life. The energy and universal positive spirit that the songs engender still motivate and excite me. I’ve loved them my whole life, and I think the music deserves attention from a younger audience, many of whom are not that familiar with their rich musical heritage.”
Jerry Velona offers a musical map for a life well-traveled and lived. And, as he says with a smile, “You can dance to it!”