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May 2017

LaBelle Tries On Jazz Hat To Troublesome Effect

Patti LaBelle
Bel Hommage
(GPE/Sony Red)
Patti LaBelle sits on a throne as among the greatest R&B to Pop singers recording and performing. However, the list of singers that can authentically swing between the Pop world and the Jazz world is a short one highlighted by Aretha Franklin, Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nancy Wilson (retired) and the late incomparable Natalie Cole and Teena Marie.

Don Bryant | Don’t Give Up on Love

Don Bryant | Don’t Give Up on Love
(Fat Possum)
by Brent Faulkner
Sometimes, truly great musicians are unsung heroes. Often, the frontman or the full-time solo artist tends to get all of the love and all of the praise. Still, there are extremely talented songwriters, producers, and background vocalists who help to craft some of the greatest records and album.

Norman Brown | Let It Go

Norman Brown | Let It Go
Shanachie Entertainment
by Peggy Oliver
The musical dexterity of Wes Montgomery has inspired many contemporary jazz guitarists through the years despite his early days as a hard bop musician. One of many musicians who gravitated to this icon was Norman Brown, a huge turning point in studying and performing jazz, despite his earlier influences and interest in Jimi Hendrix and the Isleys.