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Contemporary Jazz, Page 4


BWB - 2016
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.

Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life | Nihil Novi

Marcus Strickland Nihil Novi
Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life
Nihil Novi
(Blue Note/Revive)
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

Nick Colionne - The Journey
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.

Two Bands…Three Dimensions of Music

Christian McBride and José James Lead Diverse Ensembles of Excellence
Disney Hall
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 - Disney Hall - Cropped April 1, 2016 - photo by Michael K. Adams
Mack Avenue Super Band (Photo: Michael K. Adams)

Jason Miles Captures The Spirit of Grover Washington, Jr.

Jason Miles - To Grover With Love - Live In Japan
Jason Miles
To Grover with Love: Live in Japan
(Whaling City Sound)
Record Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
In the scheme of all things musical, the question often arises, “Why a tribute CD?” Would you rather hear people paying tribute to an artist by rerecording their works or instead hear the legendary artist’s music itself? In most cases, the latter is true. Sometimes there are exceptions, the latest being keyboardist/producer Jason Miles’ third tribute to a man that has given him consistent inspiration, saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. Unlike the previous two, this one was recorded live.

New Band Groove Legacy Launches On a Soul-Jazz Crusade!

Groove Legacy II
Groove Legacy
Groove Legacy
(Groove Legacy)
Record Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
Having been in the music industry in one role or another since the early `80s, I’ve come to know a lot of people.  So when one trusted peer from my radio and records days invites me to a gig and then I find another trusted friend from my journalist days there – and unbeknownst to each other they are both promoting this band – the chances are that I’m in for some really good music.

Dr. Lonnie Smith | Evolution

Dr. Lonnie Smith - Evolution
Dr. Lonnie Smith
(Blue Note)
Musical reflections by A. Scott Galloway
February 25, 2016
In the late `60s when he jumped from George Benson’s band into that of alto saxophone great Lou Donaldson, organist Lonnie Smith became known for whipping up a brand of funky voodoo on the B3 that got beneath the skin of the listener like lotion, beginning with the now-classic Alligator Boogaloo on into Midnight Creeper.

Jazz Piano Master Stanley Cowell Releases Best Holiday Genre CD of the Season 2015

Stanley Cowell – Reminiscent (Plus a Christmas Suite)

A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
Stanley Cowell - Reminiscent - SteepleChase - 2015
The art of piano is all about touch. Over a fifty year career as a leader and sideman with the likes of Sonny Rolins, Stan Getz and Max Roach, Stanley Cowell has mastered an impeccable balance of intelligence and taste.