Currently browsing

January 2011

Elan Trotman | Love and Sax

Elan Trotman - Love and Sax
Elan Trotman | Love and Sax (E.T. Muzik Production)
By Brian Soergel
Saxophonist Elan Trotman is a new star on the smooth jazz world. Although inspired by masters likeGrover Washington, Jr. and Kirk Whalum, his compelling tone and R&B touches mark him as a new force a la Boney James or Euge Groove. Trotman, which the New England Urban Music Awards named best male jazz performer, is a Barbados native educated at Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Nigel Lewis & Sound Mind | Light Up The Darkness

Nigel Lewis & Sound Mind | Light Up the Darkness

By Peggy Oliver

Nigel Lewis first made major noise on the music scene, he was dubbed
the “party vocalist of the year” in his native Trinidad and Tobago for
his contributions to the southern Caribbean’s popular ragga soca genre –
where traditional soca beats clashes with DJ-flavored dancehall reggae.
Though Lewis always felt a deep joy witnessing his audiences fully
embracing the music, his lyrical skills were just as convicting. From
writing a song that influenced changes in his hometown of Togo’s poverty
issues to spreading the gospel of Christ, Lewis has always taken his
gift seriously. His skills and talent were inspired by his musically
inclined parents, and the power of music became his own solace dealing
with those political hardships growing up. Through his childhood years,
Lewis developed his craft without formal training.  For those who thrive
upon the Caribbean Carnival festive spirit, The Chronicles of Nigel Lewis captures his ‘Road March King’ days. To continue, Please click “MORE”!

Keiko Matsui | The Road…

Keiko Matsui - The Road
Keiko Matsui | The Road…(Shanachie)
By Brian Soergel
Keiko Matsui is a master on the piano or on her portable Yamaha strapped around her neck. She’s showed her technical skills on her CDs, in shows and especially with some remarkable four-hand piano gigs with Bob James. But Matsui, throughout her distinguished career, hasn’t been concerned about earning bravos for her virtuosity, though she certainly has earned the accolades that do come her way.

Marcus Miller | A Night In Monte-Carlo

Marcus Miller - A Night in Monte-Carlo
Marcus Miller | A Night in Monte-Carlo
By Peggy Oliver
Marcus Miller has worn many musical hats through his established career. Besides being one of the most in-demand studio musicians, especially for Luther Vandross, David Sanborn and Miles Davis, Miller is one of the master bass guitar technicians. From the slap style to gorgeous melodic washes, Miller has furthered the cause for contemporary urban bass players; certainly through the inspirations of other bass greats Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius.

Gabbie McGee | Mississippi’s Daughter

Album Review: Gabbie McGhee | Mississippi’s Daughter
By Susan Mutharia

I describe a gifted singer as an artist who could simply hum the alphabet and manage to get us enchanted. I describe a gifted singer as an artist whose sound radiates energy in a room without their physical presence. I describe a gifted singer as an artist whom, with much wisdom, tells stories in their song and leaves us begging for more just like a child. New to my list of gifted artist is Gabbie McGee.

Exactly who is Gabbie McGee? As she describes herself, she is Mississippi’s daughter, a flower that grew from the ashes of Mississippi. Labeling her music with one genre would be trying to contain her in a box which I imagine would be suffocating. Her music crosses every genre from jazz to soul, gospel to even a little bit edgy rock. That’s what makes her new album Mississippi’s Daughter brilliant! To continue, please click “MORE”!

Keke Palmer | Awaken

Keke Palmer - Awaken
Keke Palmer | Awaken Mixtape
By Peggy Oliver
Keke Palmer started chasing her dream of becoming a double threat entertainer since she was in grade school. And she had the advantage of developing her voice in her mother’s home recording studio. Once the very gifted Palmer (born Lauren Keyana ‘Keke’ Palmer) ventured out to make her dream reality, she went through the motions of various rejections, including her audition being edited out of American Idol’s short-lived spin off series, American Juniors.

J. Poww | Journey Of A Man

J Poww | Journey of A Man
By Susan Mutharia

Before Pathway to the Moon by MN8 and All My Life by KCi & JoJo, there was So In Love by U.N.V…. Remember that ballad? Remember the group? Remember one of the singers, J. Poww? Well, he is back with another solo album entitled Journey Of A Man.

Though it’s been a minute since we heard from the group U.N.V, J Poww has not been silent. In January of 2009, he released his first solo debut The Headliner that featured tracks such as Y Can’t She Be You and Fall In Love All Over Again. Now he is back with his second album Journey Of A Man. Released on December 4, 2010 through Powwer Moves Records LLC., Journey of A Man features twenty R&B tracks with some hip-hop mix. The video of the single I’m Not In Love has already been accepted and added to the video play list by VH1. To continue, Please click “MORE”!

Mini Concert Review of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Dimitrious’ Jazz Alley, Seattle WA – January 11, 2011

Mini Concert Review of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Dimitrious’ Jazz Alley, Seattle WA – January 11, 2011
By Peggy Oliver

it gets down to taking an authentic musical tour of Harlem,
composer/musician/entertainer Fats Waller would highly qualify as the
tour guide. His compositions highlighted the ragtime/stride piano era
during the twenties, and his popularity extended overseas to Europe.
Whenever he played the organ and piano, there was an undeniable pure joy
that resonated in his soul. Whether it was a comedic song, melancholy
blues or Broadway, Waller’s music touched many persons through his all
too brief lifetime (he died before age forty). But what a legacy that
the much-decorated New York native left with a testimonial revue
entitled Ain’t Misbehavin’ (named after one of Waller’s smash hits), that first graced the Broadway stage in 1978 and won several Tony Awards. To continue, Please click “MORE”!

Patti Austin | Sound Advice

Patti Austin - Sound Advice
Patti Austin | Sound Advice
By Peggy Oliver
Patti Austin’s extraordinary voice is a songwriter’s sweetest dream. Since she bowed on the stage at The Apollo Theater at age four with her godmother Dinah Washington, Austin was highly destined to be a songwriter’s best friend. Her maturity as a vocalist grew as a teenager touring with the legendary Harry Belafonte.

Steve Cole | Moonlight

Steve Cole - Moonlight
Steve Cole | Moonlight
By Brian Soergel
Windy City saxophonist Steve Cole, who released his debut CD in 1998, has been a steady force on the smooth jazz charts and touring scene for more than a decade. He’s also a member of the Sax Pack, an in-the-pocket trio with fellow saxophonists Jeff Kashiwa and Kim Waters. His early music got me through some long, long drives on the West Coast.