Walter Beasley – The Best of Walter Beasley | The Affable Years, Volume 1
by Peggy Oliver
Once upon a time, a particular nine year old received a life-changing gift of a Grover Washington, Jr. CD. From that moment on, Walter Beasley would dedicate his career to shear excellence — all for the love of music and for the legendary saxophonist they call Mr. Magic.
Dr. Lonnie Smith | All in My Mind
Blue Note Records
by Brent Faulkner
Ah, Dr. Lonnie Smith! He’s one of the legendary jazz musicians still alive and well who continues to record sweet music. What makes Smith most unique – besides his beard and turban – is the fact he’s a jazz Hammond B3 organist. While there are numerous organists in jazz, compared to other instruments, it’s rarer.
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready
Dee Dee Bridgewater is a woman who has lived…well…and in a lot of places. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, recorded her first album in Tokyo, Japan, won her Tony in New York, won her Grammys in L.A., escaped to Paris where she thrived as a pure jazz singer, returned stateside to Nevada where she regrouped, and now resides in New Orleans where there was enough of Mother Africa to sustain her after she’d traced her roots back to Nigeria (musically documented a decade ago on her 2007 album, Red Earth).
Quincy Jones: The A&M Years
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Concert Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
I’m going to begin this review by stating two things upfront. This salute to Quincy Jones focusing on his early `70s big band albums Walking in Space (CTI/A&M – 1969), Gula Matari (CTI/A&M – 1970) and Smackwater Jack (A&M – 1971) was THE concert in this summer’s Hollywood Bowl Wednesday Night Jazz Series that I was most looking forward to.
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.
Patti LaBelle sits on a throne as among the greatest R&B to Pop singers recording and performing. However, the list of singers that can authentically swing between the Pop world and the Jazz world is a short one highlighted by Aretha Franklin, Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nancy Wilson (retired) and the late incomparable Natalie Cole and Teena Marie.
Norman Brown | Let It Go
by Peggy Oliver
The musical dexterity of Wes Montgomery has inspired many contemporary jazz guitarists through the years despite his early days as a hard bop musician. One of many musicians who gravitated to this icon was Norman Brown, a huge turning point in studying and performing jazz, despite his earlier influences and interest in Jimi Hendrix and the Isleys.