Amazing Grace is Aretha Franklin’s Regally Rousing Cinematic Hallelujah
A Film Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
There’s something powerfully unique about seeing footage of music you’ve only been able to listen to for decades. The first example that comes to mind is the black and white video of Les McCann & Eddie Harris’ 1969 set at the Montreux Jazz Festival that, for years, was only heard as their Atlantic Records album Swiss Movement.
“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.
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.
Bryan Owens & The Deacons of Soul
Soul of Cash
(LIFE Arts Music)
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
The junction where R&B and Country Music intersect has been traversed by many artists from Charlie Rich, Lucinda Williams and The Rolling Stones going one way to Ray Charles, Esther Phillips and Gladys Knight & The Pips heading in the other. The fourth and latest project by singer Brian Owens & The Deacons of Soul is an intermittently successful yet tight 8-song CD, Songs of Cash, that finds the man and his band tippin’ their Stetsons to one of Country’s tallest figures, Johnny Cash.
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.
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…
Will Downing | Black Pearls
by Peggy Oliver
When the judges on various talent competitions pound out the fact that the vocalist’s song choices are so critical, it can be quite annoying or it can be a vocalist’s secret weapon in gaining success. Then when those careers start taking shape in the right direction, this one piece of advice frankly ends up being a vocalist’s best friend.
Oya Thomas “Tribute to Prince”
Skyloft (Laguna Beach)
Saturday May 28, 2016
Concert reflections and photographs by A. Scott Galloway
Vocalist Oya Thomas caught my attention a couple of years back with the beautiful Sunday morning song “Peace in the Valley” from her CD The Spirit of Oya. So I was stunned to receive an email invitation to a Saturday night show she was fronting in memory of Prince on Memorial Day. I knew she could sing and that she was also very nice on the eyes so when a last minute cancellation made it possible for me to see this show, I made that move.
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.
Playboy Jazz Festival – Day 2 – Sunday June 14, 2015
A Concert Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
Photos: Mathew Imaging
Brown Bunnies of Playboy
An afternoon of tradition and roots gave way to an evening of mash-ups and fusions for the second day of the 37th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.