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Neo-Soul

Kem | Love Always Wins


 
KEM
Love Always Wins
(Motown)
An Album Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
 
Singer/songwriter KEM (Kim Williams) returns with his first album in 6 years since Promise to Love in 2014. As one of Black music’s preeminent love troubadours, the artist continues his richly textured pledges of the heart in a set that fans will surely find well worth the wait.

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

Sy Smith | Sometimes a Rose Will Grow in Concrete


 
Sy Smith Blossoms into Full Singer/Songwriter Bloom on “Sometimes a Rose…”
 
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
 
Sy Smith has been a work in progress as a most valuable session and touring singer for others, and a developing artist in her own right with four acclaimed albums behind her. Her latest, Sometimes a Rose Will Grow in Concrete, is her first since 2012, its title foreshadowing that a sister has been through some things but come out the other side steeped in artistry, ancestry and ‘Les Fleur de la Corazon.’

Soul Basement featuring Jay Nemor | What We Leave Behind


 
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.

Bell Biv DeVoe | Three Stripes


 
Bell Biv DeVoe, Three Stripes
(Entertainment One)

Review written by Brent Faulkner
 
The 1990s was a time when urban music was flourishing. R&B was hot – particularly New Jack Swing. Hip-hop itself was becoming a massive force. Bell Biv Devoe hail from the glorious 90s, laying claim to one gargantuan, multiplatinum album (Poison) and two gold albums (Hootie Mack most notably).

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