Darien Dean | Departures
by Brent Faulkner
Soul music is alive and well – don’t let anyone tell you any different. Darien Dean proves this on his latest project, Departures. Dean isn’t a household name by any means. One reason is because Departures represents the artist’s first project released through notable music platforms.
Soul Basement featuring Jay Nemor | What We Leave Behind
by Peggy Oliver
The embodiment of music, when a vocalist or musician so emphatically chooses, can express how we can observe the world around us and what we take from those experiences in life. The latest work from Soul Basement entitled, What We Leave Behind, crafts a journal that reflects personal retrospectives that speaks to several issues.
In Search of Better Days
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick is easily among the most prolific men in modern music, particularly within his specialty niche of acid jazz/club/quiet storm. Between his solo CDs, outside productions and, of course, his work as leader of the collective Incognito, he is also a generous giver with projects usually no less than 14 solid tracks apiece.
The Roxy – West Hollywood, CA
Friday May 13, 2016
Concert Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
Photos by Michael K. Adams
Obscured in red light, Nao sings in a cockney neo soul alto over sinewy pulsing grooves and speaks with gracefully gesturing limbs as if languid and outstretched underwater. Though the music has a techno vibe, her backing is a power trio of guitar, bass (doubling on occasional synth) and way off in the corner stage left, drums – delivering Grand Funk bottom as she falls in with the guitarist parroting snaky unorthodox lines.
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.
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.
Saun & Starr | Look Closer
By Peggy Oliver
Call it coincidence or better yet, call it destiny when two or more people immediately connect with each other while managing to continue their circle of life through various spaces of time. Sandra ‘Saun’ Williams and Starr Duncan-Lowe grew up a short distance from each other in The Bronx, New York. Yet it was their meeting at a local talent show that began their journey of a much respected friendship – musically and personally – and the rest is more than history.
Bluey | Leap of Faith
By Brent Faulkner
Jazz/R&B musician Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick is best known as the
founder of London acid-jazz/funk group Incognito. A guitarist,
vocalist, producer, and composer, Bluey is additionally notable for
collaborative efforts with Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, and George Benson
among others. 2013s Leap of Faith is Bluey’s first solo album, released
via Shanachie Records. On the 10-track, 45 minute effort, Bluey composes
and produces the effort himself.
Paul Hardcastle | VII
By Peggy Oliver
Paul Hardcastle has unashamedly flown the banner for electronic music since 1984 while encompassing a kaleidoscope of soundscapes from hip-hop, R&B, funk and dance to numerous contemporary jazz recordings under the Jazzmasters, Kiss the Sky and under his own name. One of Hardcastle’s first endeavors was “You’re the One for Me” by underground soul man, D-Train. Pop music culture is most familiar with his early hits such as the techno-thumping, “19,” an emotional tale about the injustices of the Vietnam War.
Gyles | Love & Denial
by Brent Faulkner
Described as a “powerhouse vocalist and thoughtful lyricist”, R&B
artist Gyles releases EP Love & Denial via Duffmusiq, supported by a
lofty list of accomplishments. Amongst her artistic resumé, Gyles has
lent her vocals to a host of award-winning and nominated artists
including Juno award recipients Carlos Morgan and Jully Black, and Juno
nominee Camille Davis.