Currently browsing category

Funk

Charlie Wilson and The O’Jays’ Polar Extremes of Soul

“Party Train” Meets “Love Train” at Historical Charlie Wilson & O’Jays Double Bill
 
A Concert Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
August 3, 2018
 

 
The world-famous Hollywood Bowl was the venue for a bittersweet time capsule of Black Music History on Friday, August 3, as former GAP Band lead singer Charlie Wilson headlined a triumphant generations-leaping show – his first time with an orchestra – with the mighty O’Jays trio celebrating its 59th anniversary as the opening act and what may be their final time performing in Los Angeles as they are said to be retiring at the end of 2018.

Ramsey Lewis, Tower of Power, Anthony Hamilton and More Help Playboy Jazz Festival Turn 40.

Playboy Jazz Festival Celebrates 40th Anniversary at The Hollywood Bowl
 
by A. Scott Galloway
 
Under clear blue skies, 80-degree temps with a sweet breeze blowin’ on both days, the “Playboy Jazz Festival” celebrated its 40th anniversary with days split almost squarely between World Music leaning on Saturday and Jazz on Sunday.
 
Saturday June 9 began with the traditional Los Angeles County High School For The Arts Jazz of promising young students followed by Columbian party band Monsieur Perine’. Things got really interesting when blind 17 year-old organ prodigy Matthew Whitaker and his trio wowed the crowd with the passionate and eclectic set list of his original “Play it Back,” the `60s pop hit “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase made famous on the jazz side by Charles Earland, the Brazilian gem “Mais Que Nada,” John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” and the finale of a dual medley of Earth Wind and Fire’s “In the Stone/September” with Stevie Wonder’s “As/I Wish” – what a prodigious talent and people-pleaser.
 

Matthew Whitaker

Ohio Players Set Hollywood Bowl On Fire Opening For Dave Koz and Larry Graham


 
Dave Koz & Larry Graham Come Out Smokin’ But OHIO Players Bring The FIRE – “Smooth Summer Jazz” at Hollywood Bowl – Sunday August 20, 2017
 
Concert Reflections and Photographs by A. Scott Galloway
 
I have to fess up, I thought saxophonist Dave Koz was just another smooth jazz softie. He started out proving me right when he opened his headlining set with the Judy Garland evergreen “Over the Rainbow,” tongue-in-cheekily “overblown” to my expectation. But a funky thing happened at the big finish.

Charles Bradley | Changes

charles-bradley-changes
 
Charles Bradley | Changes
Daptone Records
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.

Bacon Cooks Up Sizzlin’ Salute to P-Funk

rob-bacon-cause
 
Rob “Fonksta” Bacon
“Cause & E-Funk”
(Fonkstarr Productions)
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.”

Mysteries of The Elements Unlocked in Earth, Wind & Fire Leader Maurice White’s Posthumous Autobiography

mauricewhite-mylifewithewf-cover
 
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…

L.A. Soul Music Festival Boasts Victorious First Year

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.
 
Photo 1 Crowd
Crowd

Bernie Worrell / Bill Laswell / Karsh Kale | Funkcronomic

Bernie Worrell Bill Laswell Karsh Kale - Funkcronomic - MODtechnologies - smaller
 
Bernie Worrell / Bill Laswell / Karsh Kale
Funkcronomic
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.

12 year-old Joey Alexander Steals Day 1 of Playboy Jazz Festival

38th Playboy Jazz Festival
Hollywood Bowl
Saturday June 11, 2016
Festival Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
Photography by Matthew Imaging (except one)
 
Photo 1 - George Lopez
George Lopez
 
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.

Hide