Charles Bradley | Changes
by Peggy Oliver
For a particular singer who was living the hard knocks life as captured in the 2012 documentary entitled Soul of America, Charles Bradley always expressed himself without any qualms. Known for many seasons as a James Brown impersonator from the mid-nineties, this surefire survivor of his past surroundings who outright bore his soul musically struck a wonderful chord with the powers that be at Daptone Records, a revivalist label that first brought us Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Lee Fields, amongst others.
Rob “Fonksta” Bacon
“Cause & E-Funk”
An A. Scott Galloway Song Reflection
Rob Bacon is among the music industry’s most sought after guitarists in the studio and on the road for bringing fiery uncut funk to everything he does – from Brian Culbertson to Chaka Khan (who he’s touring and recording with as I type) – thus his nickname, “Fonksta.”
The Sunday Morning Book Review by A. Scott Galloway
Maurice White with Herb Powell – “My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire” (Amistad)
The mystique of Maurice White contributed greatly to the rise, the fall and the rebirth of the dynamic, inspirational and genre-bending band he dreamed up and brought to life as Earth, Wind & Fire. That vibration made him – as a superstar, a bandleader and a curious lead singer/sex symbol…
Inaugural L.A. Soul Music Festival Provides Top Talent In A Casual Outdoor Atmosphere
Concert Reflections and Photographs by A. Scott Galloway
Southern California inaugurated another 3-Day outdoor summer music weekend event with “The L.A. Soul Music Festival” last week – a program targeting grown folks that love their soul music on the smooth, sexy and contemporary side. It took place on an under-utilized area of Griffith Park near the Gene Autry Western Museum, conveniently just off the 5 Freeway with plenty of blessedly free parking. Reasonably priced and punctually executed, each day of the festival from Friday to Sunday delivered 5 name acts between 6pm and 11pm with a DJ and emcee between each act keeping things lively and flowing.
Bernie Worrell / Bill Laswell / Karsh Kale
Musical Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
Keyboard genius Bernie Worrell a.k.a. “Wizard of Woo,” drops us off at the launching pad of his next phase with a parting gift of groove that – in a just and funky world – will become the Ride On soundtrack of The Summer of 16. Hangin’ with old crony bassist/producer Bill Laswell and drummer Karsh Kale, Worrell came up with a 5-song EP of lean, mean Caddy cruisin’ joints guaranteed to relax your mind.
38th Playboy Jazz Festival
Saturday June 11, 2016
Festival Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
Photography by Matthew Imaging (except one)
Though big names were lacking, big fun was in full regalia for the opening day of this year’s Playboy Jazz Festival, due in part to amiable host George Lopez. Mist in the midday and a light sprinkling of pre-summer rain baptized the early acts and audience. Poetically speaking, it gave the high-achieving students of the Beyond the Bell All-City Jazz Band of an early taste of dues they have to pay on their way to the top.
Byron Miller | Psycho Bass
by Peggy Oliver
When a supporting musician is noticed for a memorable contribution on a major star’s hit project, that can transform into the ultimate door opener for their own artistic platform. The jaw dropping bass guitar solo heard around the funk world on George Duke’s “Reach for It” in 1977 belonged to an up and coming, self-proclaimed funkmeister in Byron Miller. The then nineteen year old, who was mentored by the legendary keyboardist Duke, was more than well on the way to a much respected place amongst the bass playing community.
Oya Thomas “Tribute to Prince”
Skyloft (Laguna Beach)
Saturday May 28, 2016
Concert reflections and photographs by A. Scott Galloway
Vocalist Oya Thomas caught my attention a couple of years back with the beautiful Sunday morning song “Peace in the Valley” from her CD The Spirit of Oya. So I was stunned to receive an email invitation to a Saturday night show she was fronting in memory of Prince on Memorial Day. I knew she could sing and that she was also very nice on the eyes so when a last minute cancellation made it possible for me to see this show, I made that move.
Theo Croker and DVRK Funk | Escape Velocity
by Peggy Oliver
When musicians are ready to hit the professional pavement, many are willing to hone their craft with studio time or side work to make all their financial ends meet while gaining more notoriety in the industry. Born into jazz royalty as the grandson of trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Croker was naturally inspired to follow his own, unique trumpet virtuosity. After graduating from college, Theo Croker moved to Shanghai China, where a melting pot of musical cultures awaited him.
Con Funk Shun | More Than Love
By Peggy Oliver
When someone speaks of ‘absence making the heart grow fonder,’ it could take on a number of scenarios, especially a reuniting of a musical group that once broke their bonds and then returns again for old time music making sake. Con Funk Shun, one of the influential seventies and eighties R&B-funk ensembles, emphatically brought their audiences to the dance floor and oozed the best in romance.