Smoothjazz.com

 Lights On Independent

While Pete Belasco is truly one of the most satisfying singers of our time, seven years is a very long wait without getting some... Some of that seductive slow groove, some soulful crooning and some cleverly, evocative lyrics. Sure, Pete Belasco’s signature sound lingers, which is why radio stations worldwide continue to support his two previous recordings (Get It Together and Deeper)… with LIGHTS ON, the wait is over my Belasco-starved friends! This new project is everything you’ve been holding out for! Subtle, sexy and intelligent with skillfully crafted tunes in a similar vein as vintage favorites Mayfield, Marvin and Smokey. Fans of today’s neo soul, will also enjoy discovering Pete’s LIGHTS ON… a relevant musical tale of a sweet, sweet life. We are so fortunate that this sensitive artist was willing to venture back into the recording studio to deliver 12 entrancing new songs, plus 2 bonus tracks. Favorites for me include the infectious “Rock It” and the stunning “My Eyes.” Radio will be thrilled and fans will be relieved… and I can finally relax as I am Belascofied once again! 

Village Voice

Deeper, New York singer-saxophonist-pianist Pete Belasco's second album, floats a magnetic set of vintage vibes. Throughout most of the collection Belasco works primarily with co-producer and guitarist JK (not of England's Jamiroquai), smoothly exhaling composed r&b lads such as "Hurry Hurry," "Keep On," and "Wonderful Woman" in the manner of Marvin GayeCurtis Mayfield, and other close-mic'd soul guns. Elsewhere, Belasco plays fastidiously schooled sax instrumentals like a pop-soul fan imagining Sonny Rollins. In both cases, Belasco's songwriting places a high premium on melody—not applied to hit-mongering, diva-making, or campfire singing, but uncorked with a casually profound awareness of how melody permits long moments of backlit phrasing, how it can expose lightly shadowed harmonic fires. 

The music is challenging to describe, yet easy to hear. This is doubly true because Belasco and JK encase all their r&b recitations, all their Kenny G and David Sanborn reversals, in the sort of lushly contoured, woody, screechlessly digital soundscape that was groundbreaking when Sade debuted in 1984. But because Belasco steadies such an essentialized grip on Deeper, decades of stylistic and technological ecstasies cohere and expand. Many enterprising neo-soul renovators push slick new collections for contemporary interiors. Only, Belasco steals in, fires the contractors, and whispers to the homeowners: "You need this."

New York Times

Belasco writes snappy, jazz-tinged songs and would segue seamlessly with the likes of Erykah Badu, Duncan Sheik and Sarah McLachlan, among the handful of sharper artists who have broken the middlebrow hegemony on Adult Contemporary.

Soul Express

This CD is absolutely blinding! Produced by blue-eyed soulster Joel Kipnis (aka JK), "Deeper" is smooth like silk; a masterpiece of soulful jazz-fusion sung with a sensuous, delicate and extremely deliberate Marvin Gaye / Curtis Mayfield style by the master of smooth tonsils himself, Pete Belasco. Pete whispers around and his soft falsetto caresses the soft bass and sweet sax in absolute perfect symbiosis. Lovers of Curtis and Marvin and JK’s "What’s The Word" album from 1998 will know roughly what to expect. In fact, readers who have been swept away by the recent Impromp2 and Frank McComb sets will definitely want this in their collections. 
This is "smooth jazz" without the schmaltz, offering real instrumentation, the most smooth and wispish of vocalists, a velvet undercurrent and the result is one of the most more-ish jazz vocal albums that I can remember in a long time. Quiet Storm a colytes will adore this album and there are so many standout cuts for me I find it hard where to begin. Let’s put it this way: within the first 30 seconds of "Hurry Hurry" I just KNEW I had to have this album. 
When I heard this I had not discovered the magnificence of "Deeper", "I’ll Come To You" and the others. There more I played this song the more I was swept up into the luxurious, expansive warm world that this CD emanated and I find myself quiet emotional at the intensity, if one can call it that, of the first track that I was very moved by it. Call me an old romantic, soft in the head or whatever I just don’t care. But one thing I know, dear readers, is that when a song and an album can grab me by the heartstrings and effect such stimuli then I am definitely onto something here. 

All About Jazz

Pete Belasco: DeeperPete Belasco has created the perfect smooth-jazz-with-vocals CD: The vocals aren’t strategically sprinkled amid instrumental tunes to attract the coveted wider demographic. Anyway, most of these attempts to grab ears inevitably fail and are as unwelcome as a deadbeat relative in the spare bedroom.

Belasco’s feathery falsetto is what the CD’s all about, and every vocal track is hit-worthy. Heck—and this is almost unfair—he can also play sax like the devil, deep and resonating, as well as holding his own on keyboards, vibes, drums and bass. Belasco tips his hat to idols Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye (especially on “Fool’s World") and the Isley Brothers on the liner notes, and while it may be tempting to think ofDeeper as derivative, that would miss the point. It’s more of an homage to smooth ‘70s soul, which Belasco makes his own with provocative and endearing lyrics.

Rather than mixing tempos and moods, Belasco makes the right decision in sticking to a lovers-by-the-fireplace setting, steering the overall vibe toward an hour-long trip into slow-is-good foreplay. Whether urging to look “Deeper” in the world around us or seducing us with “Hurry Hurry,” Belasco pens lyrics that mean something, even it’s just about plain ‘ol love and stuff. If “I’ll Come to You”—even with its industry nudge-nudges with refrains of “smooth sounds” and “Quiet Storm”—doesn’t get you in the mood...

Belasco doesn’t forget his sax, as several cuts are instrumentals. Well, “Crazy” has computerized vocals, but it’s instrumental in spirit, with Belasco’s sexy sax and JK’s wah-wah guitar. Belasco’s a family man, and he names two songs for his daughters, “Nia” and the lullaby “Zoe.” Sorry ladies, he also sings lovingly to his wife in “Wonderful Woman.”  Deeper never falters, sticks to a theme and balances commercialism with artistic expression...Pretty cool.

Jazziz Magazine......brilliant R&B, blues, and jazz fusion.....

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