Blue Six Beautiful Tomorrow

New York City's Jay Denes understands that house music is meant to stimulate the soul as well as move the body. Under his Blue Six solo guise, the long-time producer and co-owner of Naked Music has crafted an incredibly deep and gorgeous debut. Clearly influenced by jazz, soul, funk and early house, Beautiful Tomorrow is fresh and distinctive. The album has a gentleness yet avoids the potential "house-light" trap through strong songwriting. Even with six different women vocalists appearing over the course of the 14 songs, the production work of Blue Six more than holds it all together. "Let's Do It Together," featuring fellow Naked artist Lisa Shaw, is a knockout, with Shaw's rich voice swaying sweetly over funky bass, sax, percussion and chilled beats. The Blue Six signature track, "Sweeter Love," sounds just as fresh as it did three years ago when it took the underground house scene by storm. It's a near-perfect piece: hooky, deep and sensual as they come. "Close to Home" will appeal to fans of "Sweeter Love," bumping along beautifully with touches of trumpet and the vocals of Abstract Truth's Monique Bingham. Bingham also appears on the album's most up-tempo number, "Pure," where her versatility is well matched by Denes's uplifting sense of melody and use of acoustic guitar. Nicely, the album also includes exclusive dub versions of three pieces, including "Pure," "Grace" and the awesome Teksoul dub of "Music and Wine." A little more sparse, edgy and tech-y than the original, this latter reworking stands strong on its own and makes for a killer early a.m. dance floor rub. Solid from top to bottom. (Naked)