BWB | BWB
by Brent Faulkner
BWB (Brown, Whalum, and Braun) are nothing short of a musical force to be reckoned with. When three of smooth jazz’s crème de la crème collaborate together as a super group – Norman Brown on guitar, Kirk Whalum on saxophone, and Rick Braun on trumpet – the end results are nothing short of celestial.
April 12, 2016
Special Event Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
As she glided to the stage of the Clive Davis Auditorium inside downtown Los Angeles’ Grammy Museum for a sweetly emotional mini-concert and chat commemorating the closing of a months-long museum exhibit focusing on the career of her legendary father, sitar master/composer Ravi Shankar – before she played a single note – the first thing I could not get over is how short Anoushka Shankar is… When photographed with the birthright sitar instrument she, too, now plays so beautifully, it appears to stretch her, not dwarf her…a trick of the eye into the mystical properties that her art and art form manifest. Indeed, her embrace of the sitar instantly, magically, makes her appear larger than mere mortal life.
Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
With song titles such as “Tic Toc,” “Alive” and “Truth,” it becomes apparent that saxophonist Marcus Strickland’s Blue Note bow is an extended meditation on life, the pull of history, the urgency of addressing the present state of this planet, ancestry and time. Rich with African roots and rhythm, the searching spirit of jazz and the boldness of hip hop, it is an optimistic and conscientious forward march to the beat of leadership’s cry.
Nick Colionne | The Journey
Trippin’ N Rhythm’
by Peggy Oliver
Nick Colionne is considered by many of the media and his peers as one of the snappiest dressers in the jazz world today. Yet despite this glowing fashion statement, Colionne’s talents are unquestionable, birthed in the fruitful musical history of his hometown of Chicago while learning his guitar licks since age 9 from his stepfather.
The JT Project | Moments of Change
Trippin’ & Rhythm’
by Peggy Oliver
Jacob Webb and Todd Schefflin were ready to execute a potent plan in demonstrating their special flair for contemporary jazz. Through their earlier recordings on their namesake label, The JT Project were exercising their gifts and musical training in preparing for the bigger spotlight.
Christian McBride and José James Lead Diverse Ensembles of Excellence
April 1, 2016
Concert Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
Toward the end of a Friday evening that more than fortified the strength, resilience and future of music called Jazz, tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum made a statement about people prematurely laying the genre to rest. Essentially he said that if you were drawing breath inside Disney Hall at that moment, you know better. Truth was spoken, sung, blown, plucked and pounded this night with a curious yet victorious double bill consisting of an acoustic “Super Band” culled from the roster of Detroit’s Mack Avenue Records headlining over maverick vocalist José James.
Mack Avenue Super Band (Photo: Michael K. Adams)