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April 2011, Page 2

Mint Condition | 7…

Mint Condition - 7
Mint Condition | 7…
Shanachie Records
by Brent Faulkner
R&B group Mint Condition’s seventh studio LP, entitled 7… marks their first release since 2008’s E-Life. On their smartly conceived seventh full-length, Mint Condition sounds just as vocally capable as they did back in their heyday – the glory days of ‘new-jack swing’ and a time where adult contemporary-laden R&B thrived.

Boney James | Contact

Boney James - Contact
Boney James | Contact
By Brian Soergel
Saxophonist Boney James, one of the most consistently appealing players in contemporary jazz, returns with his first CD of all-new music since 2006’s Shine. That was his debut with Concord, and he also released a Christmas CD and covers project with four original songs. James is now with a new record label, Verve-Forecast.

Jennifer Hudson | I Remember Me

Jennifer Hudson - I Remember Me
Jennifer Hudson | I Remember Me
by Brent Faulkner
Jennifer Hudson was initially remembered for her premature departure from American Idol Season three. After her premature departure, her career only ‘looked up.’ Her first major role playing Effie White in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls won Hudson both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Easy Evans | At Ease

Album Review: Easy Evans | At Ease
by Brent Faulkner

Upstart independent R&B singer Easy Evans delivers a solid, though
not necessarily exceptional effort on his debut EP At Ease. Easy has
the tools and the voice to ‘fly high’, as showcased through the
strongest, most cohesive material of the EP, but at times Evans could
stand to push his gentle tenor vocals to the next dimension. Sure, the
effort is entitled ‘At Ease,’ but when the lover man is the slightest
bit more overt is when he ultimately shines. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Airborne: Back In The Dayz – Airborne Anthology

Album Review: Airborne: Back in the Dayz – Airborne Anthology
By Brian Soergel

You’d expect a contemporary jazz that calls itself “musical peacemakers” to have a happy, upbeat sound. You get that with the veteran band, but as this anthology shows, you also get top-quality musicianship with heft and plenty of sway. The New Haven, Conn.-based band’s eighth CD is a collection of new songs and remastered tracks
from its 13-year history.

Airborne is led by Gregory Borino (guitars, vocals), Thomas Sansone (sax, flute, vocals) and Thomas Borino (piano, keyboards, organ, vocals), as well as Dave Ramsey (drums), Donnell Roberts (bass), Asher Delerme (percussion) and Randy Bost (trumpet, flugelhorn). To continue, please click “MORE”!

Rodney Lee | Groove Kid Nation: The Wheels On The Bus

Album Review: Rodney Lee
| Groove Kid Nation: The Wheels on the Bus
By Brian Soergel

If you’re a contemporary jazz fan, Rodney Lee’s name may not immediately come to mind. But you’ve no doubt heard his music or seen him at a show, as he’s performed with Mindi Abair, Marc Antoine, Freddie Hubbard and many others. The keyboardist and record producer has also performed and written for almost 20 years with Chris Standring, and is a big part of the guitarist’s success as a co-collaborator.

Having said that, you have to be in the right demographic to truly appreciate Lee’s latest project, Groove Kid Nation. That demo is probably infant up to up to about 6 years old. And their parents, of course. Lee says he created the project, which feature numerous top session players, because he didn’t hear the kind of music he wanted his son, now 2, to get into. To continue, please click “MORE”!