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Jazz Vocals

Love Fuels the Music of Piano Empress Aziza

aziza-miller-this-journey-of-love
 
Aziza Miller
The Journey of Love (EP)

(Lind Mill)
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
 
Keyboardist/Composer/Singer Aziza Miller has produced a tight 6-song EP of laidback songs that float in that space where Caribbean Jazz and Latin Soul mingle, dance and make love all day long. “A Brand New Song” is a groove reminiscent of Tania Maria that starts off instrumental then at the very end opens up into a vocal affirmation that can start one’s day on a sunny note.

Najee | Najee’s Theme

najee-najees-theme
 
Najee | Najee’s Theme
by Peggy Oliver
 
It is hard to fathom that thirty years have passed since the single “Najee’s Theme” and the supporting album blazed the R&B and jazz charts, which for a debut recording was a remarkable accomplishment in itself. Thanks to a series of demos through New York session work, Najee already had material at his disposal, along with a decent budget from Capital/EMI – a sweet package deal that eventually resulted in his first platinum record.

Marquis Hill | The Way We Play

Marquis Hill - The Way We Play
 
Marquis Hill | The Way We Play
Concord Jazz
by Brent Faulkner
 
It’s arduous being innovative when so much innovation has materialized in the past. Particularly in jazz, with so many prodigious pioneers, finding a truly distinct lane and showcasing similar innovative spirit is intimidating. It’s not intimidating for Chicago trumpet standout Marquis Hill, who proves he’s a musical force to be reckoned with on latest album The Way We Play, his first for Concord Jazz.

Near-Perfect Playboy Jazz Festival Sunday Covers The Full Spectrum

38th Playboy Jazz Festival
Hollywood Bowl
Sunday June 12, 2016
Festival Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
 
Day 2 of the 38th “Playboy Jazz Festival” at the Hollywood Bowl was by far the more star-studded and highly anticipated of the weekend. Not only that, the cross section of artists provided a near-perfect representation of all the music that appropriately falls under the cornucopia of the art form – from New Orleans roots, Blues and Big Band to Latin, Funk-Rock, Contemporary and Ancient-Future takes.
 
Photo 1 - George Lopez (1)
George Lopez (Photo: Matthew Imaging)

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.

Gregory Porter | Take Me To The Alley

Gregory Porter - Smaller - Take Me To The Alley
 
Gregory Porter
Take Me To The Alley
(Blue Note)
Record Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
 
Singer-Songwriter Gregory Porter has settled into a cozy, pleasantly ambiguous style of musical storytelling that is as poetic, comforting and life affirming as it is spiritual and jazzily spirited. Supported by his outstanding band and special guests Lalah Hathaway and KEM, Porter’s fourth offering, Take Me To The Alley, brims with grown folks reflections and perspectives on life and love, delivered by a man who is unquestionably this eras answer to Bill Withers and Terry Callier.

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)

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