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September 2011

Syleena Johnson | Chapter 5: Underrated

Syleena Johnson - Chapter 5 Underrated
Syleena Johnson | Chapter 5: Underrated
By Peggy Oliver
If there were ever a singer/songwriter who could write a book on telling it like it is, one Syleena Johnson has perfected this craft to the nines. Performing in classical, gospel and jazz choirs throughout college, Johnson was actually studying to be a psychology major. She eventually ended up graduating with a major in Music. Yet she might as well have utilized what she soaked in from her psychology classes. Never accused of being shy when it comes to laying her feelings on the table, Johnson is well qualified to sing about her frustration of abusive relationships and surviving other bumpy roads of life.

GiGi Allen | I Need You (2 A.M. Music)

GiGi Allen - I Need You 2 AM Music
GiGi Allen | I Need You (2 A.M. Music)
By Stella Titus-Ayala
As her 48-second intro dropped and set the mood, Ms. GiGi Allen magically changed my immediate surroundings from writing a review in a coffee house in Los Angeles to hanging late night in an R&B club somewhere in the heart of New York City. “Dangerous,” the tantalizing first cut from her debut album I Need You, made me want to move in all the right directions. “Lay Here” is a sensual collaboration with guest vocals by Brandon Johnson… a sexy duet worthy of praise.

Judith Christie McAllister | Sound the Trumpet

Album Review: Judith Christie McAllister | Sound the Trumpet
By Peggy Oliver

a forerunner in one of the most powerful and influential music
ministries in the last twenty years, Judith Christie McAllister has been
dubbed by many as The First Lady of Praise & Worship. During her
childhood, McAllister was quite familiar with singing all the familiar
hymns. Though she was grateful to be exposed to church service on a
daily basis, the praise and worship environment seemed a bit strict at
times. McAllister was also the product of a classically trained
background as she graduated from The High School of the Performing Arts
in New York City at sixteen years of age. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Concert Review: Return to Forever IV/Zappa Plays Zappa

Return to Forever IV/Zappa Plays Zappa
Greek Theatre
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

by A. Scott Galloway

The mere prospect of a concert double bill starring the latest incarnation of Chick Corea’s endlessly malleable Return to Forever (RTF) concept along with opening act Zappa Plays Zappa (ZPZ) – the ultimate tribute band to rock impresario Frank Zappa led by his honorable son Dweezil Zappa – was enough to send a music head’s mind racing back to the thrill of “school days” when such a show would blow your mind while simultaneously expanding your musical consciousness. Such was the case under the stars at Griffith Park’s beautiful Greek Theatre as these two ensembles delivered the masterful musical goods making good – no great – on the bill’s promise as the stellar chops hit of the summer. To continue, please click “MORE”!

Lenny Kravitz | Black and White America

Lenny Kravitz | Black and White America
by Brent Faulkner
With his ninth studio effort Black and White America, soulful, psychedelic rock-veteran Lenny Kravitz delivers his best studio effort in years. The full range of influences are in effect on this superb effort, which finds Kravitz channeling his idol Prince and perhaps most surprisingly Marvin Gaye (“Liquid Jesus”).

Hidden Beach Presents “The Original Jill Scott – From The Vault Vol. 1”

Album Review: Jill Scott, Hidden Beach Presents the Original Jill Scott, Vol. 1
by Brent Faulkner

Hidden Beach Recordings was the home to R&B singer/poet Jill Scott
up until her 2007 LP The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3; latest
studio effort The Light of the Sun was released on Scott’s own Blues
Babe Records and distributed through Warner Brothers Records. The break
between Scott and Hidden Beach was not without its disputes and
controversy, however the result is a somewhat of a win for both parties –
the release of unreleased cuts from the singer which profits both
entities. Hidden Beach Presents the Original Jill Scott, Vol. 1 is by no
means a new studio album from Scott and ultimately, it falls short of
the quality that her studio releases have come to be characterized by.
That said, the compilation does show how marvelously talented, soulful,
and creative Jill Scott is. To continue, please click “MORE”!