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June 2011

Jill Scott | The Light Of The Sun

Album Review: Jill Scott | The Light Of The Sun
By Susan Mutharia

There is a beam that has been radiating on Jill Scott. It has filled her
with a glow, energized her flow and created a remarkable illumination
known as The Light of The Sun. Jill Scott’s new album
which was released on 06/21/2011 is nothing short of splendid. The
beautiful singer/writer/poet/actress and mother has walked us through
what she is, who she is, where she is and what she has been through
without losing her element. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Beyoncé | 4

Album Review: Beyoncé | 4
by Brent Faulkner

Beyoncé’s fourth studio LP 4 is certainly her most intriguing album.
The ‘intrigue’ is that the R&B/Pop chanteuse is truly ‘all over the
place’ stylistically on this album, which proves to be a mixed blessing.
While the ‘crossover’ tactics show Beyoncé’s sense of exploration and
evolution, some work more effectively than others. Beyoncé’s vocals
are always top notch, but the material is so ambitious or such a radical
departure at times that it comes off as off-putting or bewildering. To
Beyoncé’s credit, it is nice to hear the artist stretch herself and 4
does deliver some ‘knock-out punches.’ The biggest flaw, however maybe
merely the ordering of the track list on 4, which is a bit odd. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Patsy Moore | Expatriates

Patsy Moore
(Papa Chuy)

A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway

There is no harder working entity in the music business than a Black woman singer that doesn’t do R&B, sings softly, expresses her culture and education with exquisite class, and whose latest album just happened to turn out to be a concept album – an outstanding one at that. God bless Patsy Moore. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Pat Metheny | What’s It All About

Pat Metheny
What’s It All About

A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway

In honor of it being the first day of summer, I did something I rarely have to do when it comes to new music: I stopped by Amoeba Music on Sunset and bought What’s It All About, the new Metheny solo guitar CD on which – for the first time – he exclusively attends to a selection of 10 pop songs in his inimitable style. Considering that the songs all stem from the `60s and very early `70s, I gathered these were personal touchstones from one of my favorite artist’s formative years as both a young man and aspiring musician. What could be more worthy of purchase than this? I slid it into the car CD player as I wound my way into the hot afternoon, onto the serpentine freeway, and proceeded to get blissfully lost. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Alicia Keys | songs in A minor: 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

Alicia Keys
songs in A minor: 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
(J Records)

A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway

I was not feeling Alicia Keys when she first arrived on the scene. To be specific, I was not feeling all the hype that surrounded the Piano 101 James Brown-derived track of “Fallin’” or the schizoid nature of songs in A minor as a whole. Sure, the sista was talented, driven and easy on the eyes (from her braids to that boo-tay), and she did have one undeniable classic on the disc (“A Woman’s Worth”). Still, what I heard more than anything was promise…not already-there excellence to the tune of 12 million copies sold. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Ledisi | Pieces of Me

Album Review: Ledisi | Pieces of Me
by Brent Faulkner

In today’s R&B world, many artists on the ‘wrong side’ of Top 40
find themselves trying to compromise or ‘bridge the gap’ to become part
of the radio fold. Ledisi’s fifth studio effort, 2011’s Pieces of Me is
no different. On Pieces of Me, the incredibly gifted singer explores
her identity and exudes ‘more of her personality’ for both her fans’
sake and radio. Overall, the results are positive and Ledisi is able to
show her versatility and range. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Our Review of The 33rd Anniversary Playboy Jazz Festival

The 33rd Anniversary Playboy Jazz Festival
at The Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, CA
June 11-12, 2011
By Jerry “The Mouse” Clark

Day One:

As usual the weather cooperates with the Playboy Jazz Festival patrons. After the June- gloom morning clouds burned off, the sun sparkled with delight. Kicking off the festival in long-standing tradition, Master of Ceremonies Bill Cosby introduced The LAUSD All City High School Big Band under the direction of Tony White and J.B. Dyas. Closing your eyes, you would imagine that the likes of Basie, Dorsey or Ellington’s orchestras were gracing the hallowed round shell of the legendary Hollywood Bowl stage. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Paul Taylor | Prime Time

Paul Taylor - Prime Time
Paul Taylor | Prime Time
by Brent Faulkner
Smooth jazz is a jazz sub-genre that allows for plenty of possibilities, maybe the most possibilities for the producer. On saxophonist Paul Taylor’s 2011 effort Prime Time, the production possibilities do run wild, but also leaves room for even more exploration. Overall, Prime Time is a pleasant smooth jazz album that yearns to be even more passion-laden from the perspective of songwriting and production. Taylor always shines through the material -valedictory or merely average – attesting to his beautiful saxophone tone.

Gail Jhonson | HerStory

Gail Jhonson - Her Story
Gail Jhonson | HerStory
By Peggy Oliver
Growing up in one of music’s historical hotbeds, Gail Jhonson was one of many hard working dreamers who truly loved to play the piano. She was thoroughly awed in how nearly everyone in Philadelphia seemed to take music seriously; even the one who were strictly ‘basement’ musicians. But between her teachers and funk heroes she heard on the radio like Sly (Stone) and Stevie (Wonder), there were constant conflicts of interest.

Nick Colionne | Feel The Heat

Nick Colionne - Feel The Heat
Nick Colionne | Feel The Heat
by Brent Faulkner
Contemporary jazz guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne delivers enjoyable performances on his seventh studio effort, Feel the Heat. A veteran at this point, Colionne truly has little to prove, but that mindset does nothing to cloud his strong efforts here. From the first track to the closing track, one can easily hear Colionne’s sheer talents as a smooth jazz guitarist with superb soloing abilities.