This Phil Goes Down Smooth 

Like Luther Vandross, Phil Perry sang backup for the top artists of his era (Rod Stewart, Peabo Bryson, Boz Scaggs) before striking out on his own. He also paid his dues in other bands, as the lead singer of The Montclairs ("Begging's Hard to Do") and as a member of the duo Perry & Sanlin. While his career path follows that of the late balladeer Vandross, Perry has a style all his own, meshing modern smooth jazz sounds with his old-school vocal styling, a musical combination his fans find undeniable. Perry performs with Richmond mainstay Plunky & Oneness at The MBL Memorial Day Weekend Jazz Fest. Toad's Place Sunday, May 25, at 7 p.m. The music begins outside the venue on the canal with DJ Williams Projekt at 4 p.m. $20-$30. 648-TOAD.

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