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April 2011

Soul Tempo | Doing Our Father’s Business

Album Review: Soul Tempo – Doing Our Father’s Business

By Peggy Oliver

to song samples from “Dong Our Father’s Business” by Soul Tempo,
exclusively from Amazon, on our Gospel
Page by clicking


the 1996 movie The Preacher’s Wife, Soul Tempo performed on screen with
an acappella reading of the Swan Silvertones, “The Lord’s Prayer.”   It
is hard to top for any modern quartet to touch one of gospel music
legends who were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. But
experiencing groups like Soul Tempo who cover a whole lot of ground in a
classy manner from the traditional to hip-hop is quite extraordinary
this day and age. Formed in 1985, brothers Kevin and Phillip Mitchell
and their childhood friends Jeremiah Brunson and Anthony Burnett are
‘sort of latecomers’ to the gospel industry who won the 2009 McDonald’s
Gospel Fest. They also sung for the Democratic Debate on PBS moderated
by Tavis Smiley and have inspired audiences on several stages, including
the Apollo Theater. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Tony Adamo | What Is Hip?

Album Review: Tony Adamo | What is Hip? 

by Brent Faulkner

Listen to song samples from “What Is Hip?”, exclusively from Amazon on our R&B/Soul Page by clicking here!!

albums are the least likely to garner strong, universal critical
support.  The artistry of making something classic  ‘new’ or matching
the level of the original is often a gargantuan, sometimes impossible
task. Tony Adamo takes on this battle on his 2011 effort, What is Hip?. 
Tony Adamo’s What is Hip? consists mostly of  covers doctored up with
horns, a taste of soul, and jazz affections. Overall, the album proves
to be enjoyable, though rarely ‘revolutionary’ per say. When Adamo takes
risks and achieves more than a ‘breezy’ vocal performance (achieves
vocal grit and assertive nuances), that is when What is Hip? really
catches fire.  While the covers never eclipse the original, Adamo has
some signature moments on What is Hip?. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Noel Gourdin | Fresh: The Definition

Noel Gourdin - Fresh The Definition
Noel Gourdin | Fresh: The Definition
by Brent Faulkner
2008’s debut effort After My Time was a solid first showing for R&B talent Noel Gourdin, but failed to make Gourdin a commercially successful artist. That said, the Epic debut was an album that was critically sound and characterized Gourdin as a new R&B artist who talents harkened back to “the old days.” With the exceptional single “The River,” Noel Gourdin established he was an anti-establishment R&B artist who wished to preserve the ‘glory days’ of soul and chivalry, something so much R&B music today fails to highlight.

Dionne | Living in the Music (EP)

Dionne - Living In The Music
Dionne | Living in the Music (EP)
By Peggy Oliver
I must give kudos to 111 East Music for doing their homework in finding vocal jewels like Dionne, a singer/songwriter who paints plenty of vivid pictures with her music. The Texas born, now Washington, DC based neo-soul/jazz stylist simply loves to inspire those who want to live life to the fullest. Every time she blazes the stage, one seems to gravitate towards her sincere, energetic personality who takes the inspirations of India.Arie and Anita Baker right along with her.

Les Nubians | Nu Revolution

Les Nubians - Nu Revolution
Les Nubians | Nu Revolution
By Peggy Oliver
Sometimes in the grand scheme of music, there are history lessons that are taught. Born of a French father and Cameroonian mother, the sisters spent time -between their birthplace of Paris, France, the war-torn Chad, Africa – where their father volunteered for the Red Cross – and Bordeaux, France. When Helene moved away at age nineteen, Celia was battling loneliness but remained passionate about music, especially when it came to jazz.

Monty Alexander | Uplift

Monty Alexander

Uplift (Live)
(JLP-Jazz Legacy Productions)
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway

Listen to “Uplift”, exclusively from Amazon on our Jazz Page by clicking here!

With over 60 albums under his belt (and yet another besides this one due before summer), Jamaica-born jazz pianist Monty Alexander still sounds as fresh and vibrant as ever…and astoundingly masterful given his self-taught origins. Mr. Alexander’s passion and world travel experiences have seasoned him into one of the top players on the planet – one definitely deserving of wider recognition. Uplift, his new live set, is further evidence of his greatness, versatility and charm.
Uplift is culled from piano trio performances straight out of Mr. Alexander’s private stash of live recordings from over the last three years. Though stemming from multiple shows, the songs that Alexander and producer John Lee selected and sequenced make a perfectly well-rounded program that feels like one amazing concert. Mr. Alexander is ably accompanied by bassist Hassan Shakur and drummer Herlin Riley (with Frits Landesbergen replacing Riley on one). To continue, please click “MORE”!

Jackie O Kelley | Forgiven

Jackie O – Forgiven

By Peggy Oliver
O, a multi-gifted singer/songwriter, has fully dedicated her life in
leading souls to Christ since the age of seven. The Fresno, California
born musician played piano and sang before her father administered the
sermons at her local church. A few years later, Jackie O taught music
and directed choirs; eventually leading up to an international ministry
throughout the U.S., Europe and Egypt. When not spreading the message of
joy to others with original songs, Jackie O has taught piano and voice
for the past twenty years and served in various minister of music
capacities in central California. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Our Concert Review of The Stanley Clarke Band | Live at The Jazz Alley

The Stanley Clarke Band – Live in Concert at Jazz Alley on April 8, 2011

Seattle, Washington
By Peggy Oliver

of the first and few opportunities to experience a live concert was as a
college student in the mid seventies; having the privilege to see
Return to Forever featuring Chick Corea. The band’s young yet much
heralded bass player Stanley Clarke commanded the stage whether as a
sideman or soloist. His dexterity on the instrument – electric or
acoustic – was breathtaking. It was not always about the speed, but
expanding the harmonics, chords and its possibilities. Clarke had a full
arsenal of basses at his disposal including the tenor and piccolo
basses, which is the norm for his recording and concert repertoire. To continue, please click “MORE”!