Music Reviews

Night with the Divas & Dons – A Benefit for Black Coalition on AIDS and Rafiki Wellness Program – 11/16

Night with the Divas & Dons - A Benefit for Black Coalition on AIDS and Rafiki Wellness Program - 11/16

Night with the Divas & Dons A Benefit for Black Coalition on AIDS and its Rafiki Wellness Program Sunday, November 16, 2014 4-7 PM BCA/Rafiki Wellness Building 601 Cesar Chavez Street (between 3rd Street and Pier 80) San Francisco, CA Musical guests for the evening include Dee Spencer, Tiffany Austin, Noah Griffin, Derek Lassiter, Valerie […]

Faye Carol Interview with Wanda Sabir –

Faye Carol Interview with Wanda Sabir -

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol was interviewed today by Wanda Sabir of for being recognized as the Jazz Journalists Association’s Bay Area Jazz Hero 2014. It was a very insightful interview with this spectacular Bay Area music legend. Faye Carol will be presented with the Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Hero Award 2014 on Saturday, […]

Howard Wiley Quartet @ 57th Street Gallery

Only sax man Howard Wiley can open with a swinging ass rendition of “Three Blind Mice” and take you right into “Take The ‘A’ Train.” I think the mice were swinging so hard they just jumped on the train. I think there was just a little “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” in there too!!! Howard on sax, […]

Spanish Harlem Orchestra – Viva la Tradicón

Spanish Harlem Orchestra - Viva la Tradicón

I have been enjoying the music of Spanish Harlem Orchestra for several years. I first saw them burning up the Main Stage at the San Jose Jazz Festival. They were spectacular. They got the audience dancing on their feet. Their musicianship was superb and their vocals and dance moves were tight. Spanish Harlem Orchestra’s new […]

A Review of Randy Crawford and Joe Sample – Feeling Good

It is so easy just to want to call it a Randy Crawford album when it is actually a Randy & Joe album. He showcases vocalists so beautifully. Over the years, Joe has collaborated with Nancy Wilson, Lizz Wright, Phyllis Hyman, Lalah Hathaway and Dianne Reeves. It was in 1979 when Randy and Joe joined […]

Live from Monterey 2006

I rarely get a chance to write when I am out on the road but I thought I would take a moment to check in since I have not posted here in a few weeks. I am at the 49th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. This is the granddaddy of jazz festivals and […]

Anita Baker – My Everything

The wait is over!! Ms. Baker is back with her new Blue Note release, My Everything, which hits the stores today. Were you at your local record store last night at midnight to be one of the first to have it? No, I was not there. No, I do not have a copy of the […]

Cyrus Chestnut – You Are My Sunshine

“I have been told by many about my influences: jazz, gospel, classical, rhythm and blues, etc… and have been encouraged to make recordings addressing these idioms individually. I have never been interested in making repertory driven or stereotypical recordings – it has been my choice to a take a different route.” – Cyrus Chestnut Jazz […]

Diane Schuur – Midnight

Midnight is the right time for love and good music. On her third release for Concord Records, Midnight, jazz vocalist Diane Schuur sets the mood for romance. For this album, she works with hitmaker Barry Manilow and his longtime collaborator, Eddie Arkin. The result is a beautifully crafted album of 13 songs that showcase Diane […]

Eric Reed – Merry Magic

Every year during the holiday season, I look for new music to add to my holiday music collection. We only get to enjoy this music for a short time and then it is time to put it away until the next year. This season I am enjoying the second release in the MAXJAZZ Holiday Series: […]

Dianne Reeves – A Little Moonlight

Someone to live for Beg, steal, and die for Eat humble pie for Fly to the sun and the moon and the sky for Someone to dance with Laugh with and cry for And that someone is you… Just the words from “I’m All Smiles” sets the mood for romance but add to that Dianne […]

Jeremy Pelt – Close to My Heart

Tradition is defined as the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction. Jazz is an ever evolving journey with new roads being explored every day. Jeremy Pelt is a gatekeeper of the straight-ahead jazz tradition while adding his own nuances […]

Regina Carter – Paganini: After A Dream

The talent and skills of violinist/bandleader Regina Carter are limitless. She has been a dynamic force on the violin since her early days with the Detroit band Straight Ahead. Her solo projects have been impeccable, each taking her to a higher level of musicianship and artistry. Her current project, Paganini: After a Dream sores to […]

From the archives…

Below are my very first music reviews written in 2001. I recently found them and wanted to share them because these are both great albums. Shirley Horn – You’re My Thrill It has been written “songs are happy when Shirley sings them” and that is certainly true on You’re My Thrill. Over eight years ago, […]

Carmen McRae – Sarah – Dedicated to You

This could have easily been a Friday Flashback but it was just too good to wait for a Friday. A few months after Sarah Vaughan’s death in 1990, Carmen McRae?s recorded Sarah?Dedicated to You. I had this album on cassette until I finally found it on CD last year. Bluebird First Editions recently reissued this […]

The cover made me buy it…

How many times have you bought music just because the album cover caught your eye? You just looked at the album and said, “now that looks like it is going to be good.” In most cases, my intuition has served me well but every now and then, I have been mislead and learned the real […]

The Best Blue Note Album in the World…Ever!

The Best Blue Note Album in the World…Ever! I found this superior compilation earlier this year while looking for the music of Stanley Turrentine on Now the title may sound a little lofty but there is definitely some fine music here from several of the great jazz legends and their contemporaries. If I were […]

Compiled for your listening pleasure…

   The moment has come and you are planning a dinner party or a romantic evening for your special someone. Of course, you are serving something a bit more classy than pigs-in-a-blanket and grape Nehi…LOL!!! Oh, but what about the music? What can you play that will set the right atmosphere without putting your guests […]

Church: Songs of Soul & Inspiration

“Church is where I go when I want fulfillment, and church is where I don’t have to go because it is always with me, holding me up, propelling me forward, sustaining me.” – Dr. Maya Angelou Church: Songs of Soul & Inspiration is a beautiful recording of songs that are drenched in soul, spirit, faith, […]

The cool sounds of Kem

The joy of really good music is that word about it spreads quickly and Kem’s debut release Kemistry is musical proof of that.

Jonathan Butler – The Ultimate Butler

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Butler has been bringing us his mellow guitar and smooth voice for over 25 years. N-Coded-Music has put together a compilation of his music entitled The Ultimate Butler. It features previously released songs during his tenure on N-Coded plus two brand new songs. Vocalist Maysa joins Jonathan on the souful remake of the […]

The Shirley Horn Essentials…

“May all your storms be weathered. May all that’s good better. Here’s to life. Here’s to love. Here’s to you.” – Shirley Horn On this date in 1934 in our jazz history, vocalist/pianist extraordinaire Shirley Horn was born in Washington, D.C. Here’s her bio from “A superior ballad singer and a talented pianist, Shirley […]

Jazzhole – “Circle of the Sun”

I was a little nervous when I received Jazzhole’s new release “Circle of the Sun“, because I wanted to play it at work but I was not sure if it was “office-friendly.” My first exposure to Jazzhole was their funky “The Beat is the Bomb” remix album in 1996. I was wonderfully surprised when I […]

RH Factor’s New Groove…

Trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s band “The RH Factor” has a new album entitled “Hard Groove” which will be released on May 20. This is not your ordinary Hargrove album. Don’t worry, the mellow trumpet has just gotten a little funkier. “Hard Groove” is like a big ole pot of gumbo blending together sounds from jazz, hip-hop, […]