Bunny Sigler – From Bunny With Love (2012)

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Bunny Sigler, an architect of the classic Philly sound, is back with a blast of straight-forward funk and sweet soul, following his gospel-themed 2008 release The Lord’s Prayer.

From Bunny With Love — due on April 17, 2012 from Bun Z Records — is actually subtitled … And a Little Soul, and that perfectly sums things up. It’s a complete return to R&B form for the four-time Grammy winner, who has collaborated as singer and songwriter with such legends as the O’Jays (“Sunshine,” “You Got Your Hooks in Me”), Curtis Mayfield (“Trippin’ Out”), Patti LaBelle (“Somebody Loves You Baby”), Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (“If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “The Love I Lost”), Billy Paul, Lou Rawls and Stephanie Mills, among many others.

Later, of course, hip hop acts like Outkast, the Notorious B.I.G., Nelly, the Roots, Mary J. Blige and Jay Z either sampled Sigler’s music or worked with him in the studio — including the co-written hits “Dilemma” for Nelly and “The Ruler’s Back” for Jay Z. But From Bunny With Love doesn’t focus on anything so modern. This is steadfastly, refreshingly old school stuff — with tangy sounds that connect directly back to the old Gamble and Huff vibe.

We find Sigler living up to his old nickname of “Mr. Emotion” on “Unspoken Words,” a rumination on the twists and turns in a relationship between a father and child. “Nobody Else For Me,” featuring Paul Schaffer, is a silky smooth, string-laden affirmation on the eternal comfort of life-long love. The funk-bomb “Face the Music” recalls the late-1970s joys of Sigler’s “Let Me Party With You (Party, Party, Party),” his first Top Ten R&B single. Then there’s his tender call for peace and better times on “I Wish,” a sentiment that’s as welcome and as pertinent today as it would have been four decades ago.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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