"If You Really Want has become an excellent album, also thanks to the fantastic arrangements by conductor Mendoza, who did four pieces."Jazzism, 14-6-2019
The New York Times has called Raul Midón “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” Now, with his exciting new album – If You Really Want, to be released via Artistry Music/Mack Avenue on September 14 – Midón’s voice and guitar ride the waves of an actual orchestra: the acclaimed Metropole Orkest, the GRAMMY® Award- winning Dutch ensemble that has collaborated with artists from Al Jarreau and Elvis Costello to Laura Mvula and Snarky Puppy. Midón – who earned his first GRAMMY nomination for Bad Ass and Blind, his Artistry Music/Mack Avenue album of 2017 – worked hand in glove on If You Really Want with another renowned GRAMMY winner and frequent Metropole Orkest collaborator: conductor-composer-arranger Vince Mendoza.
This past spring, Midón performed in National Public Radio’s popular “Tiny Desk Concert” feature, with NPR prefacing the broadcast by saying: “Raul Midón lives in a world of sound – blind since birth, Midón’s interpretation of his surroundings is borderless. He sings with the passion of the best classic soul singers, and his instrumental chops stand alongside the most accomplished jazz musicians.”
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón has earned renown as one of music's most distinctive and searching voices. He is "a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus," according to The New York Times. Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder, along with contributing to recordings by Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg and the soundtrack to Spike Lee's She Hate Me. The New Mexico native, blind since birth, has released seven albums since 1999, including the hit studio productions State of Mind (Manhattan/EMI, 2005), A World Within a World (Manhattan/EMI, 2007) and Synthesis (Decca/Universal, 2009). Midón's most recent release is the captivating CD/DVD Invisible Chains – Live from NYC. Attuned listeners can hear the inspirations of Donny Hathaway and Richie Havens in his work, as well as Sting and Paul Simon. But Midón's questing musicality makes him, as the Huffington Post put it, "a free man beyond category."
A vibrant presence on screen, Midón can be seen in the documentary on Hancock's star-studded album Possibilities, and he is featured collaborating with soul icon Bill Withers in the documentary Still Bill. Midón has also demonstrated his progressive techniques by performing for the series of "TED Talks." Ever since being told by some when he was a child that his blindness meant that "you can't do this, you can't do that," Midón has lived a life devoted to shattering stereotypes. His forthcoming album has the singer-guitarist adding producer-engineer to his portfolio of talents, with special computer software for the blind enabling him to engineer sessions on his own in his home studio. This project – which includes collaborations with Withers, R&B singer-songwriter Lizz Wright, Cameroonian jazz bassist Richard Bona and Grammy-winning jazz singer Dianne Reeves – underscores why People magazine called Midón "an eclectic adventurist."
If You Really Want has become an excellent album, also thanks to the fantastic arrangements by conductor Mendoza, who did four pieces.
"If You Really Want" is an overwhelming album that brings out the best of MO and her unique soloist.
A co-production with a wonderful intensity.
The album is a journey through time of atmospheres and associations.
If You Really Want brings together the fine musical craftsmanship of Raul Midón, Vince Mendoza and the Metropole Orchestra. This is the album you want from Raul Midón.
Written in Music, 21-9-2018