Kevin Mahogany, the Kansas City cyclone, would sound terrific singing in the shower or standing on his head. The presence of a big band (actually four) on nine of the ten selections on his newest album is merely icing on the cake. No, this isn't actually the Kevin Mahogany Big Band, but the four bands represented here will do quite nicely, thank you..
Mahogany is blessed with a voice that is instantly seductive--smooth as butter, sweet as honey and deep as a freshly dug well. When he sings There Will Never Be Another You, the you to whom the avowal ...read more
The Tamala-Motown songbook...
Kevin Mahogany is a bit of a quandary. A very fine jazz vocalist, Mahogany is not content just to recapitulate the standards. His current Pride & Joy and 2000's Pussy Cat Dues-- The Music of Charles Mingus are both tightly focused efforts intent on shining a light on little illuminated corners of jazz. Pride & Joy is a swinging tribute to Motown. Mahogany opens his tribute with a down-on-the-corner a cappella Signed, Sealed, and Delivered." Marvin Gaye's Pride and Joy" is transformed from a Motown template into a swinging jazz vehicle that Mahogany takes for a spin. ...read more
Kevin Mahogany seems to have been focusing on very specific themes for his last three albums. My Romance dealt strictly with love songs and Pussy Cat Dues was dedicated to the music of Charles Mingus. Now for his first album for Telarc, the singer takes his rich baritone voice to the land of Motown's sophisticated R & B, honing in on a play list that recalls that style's heyday of the 1960's and 1970's, adding a jazz inflection to the music. The scene is set with Mahogany joined by a quartet of singers for A Capella rendition of Stevie Wonder's ...read more
On his 4th album for Warner Bros., Kevin Mahogany pulls all the genre stops and pays tribute to those by whom he clearly has been influenced. There's that funky R & B with Fats Domino's I'm Walkin" with a raucous sax and Larry Golding's organ making the whole thing go. As much as any track, I Love You More Than You Ever Know" reveals a Mahogany debt to Joe Williams where he and Golding's organ (again) merge to bring a shouter's explication to this blues tune. For those who swoon rapturously with smooth jazz, you'll love Wild Honey". Nat King ...read more
Not since the 1979 effort of Joni Mitchell has a top vocalist taken on the daunting task of recording the music of Charles Mingus. In 1995, Kevin Mahogany was invited by the Cologne-based Bill Dobbins-directed WDR big band (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) to participate in live concert of Mingus music. For this important musical event, Mahogany is joined by ex-Mingus compatriots, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson and trombonist Jimmy Knepper, as well as the big band. Although the concert took place in 1995, it wasn't until July of 2000 that the album was released. After a listen, it's a shame the moguls of ...read more
Vocalist Kevin Mahogany applies his unique gifts to the eternalized aura of the late Charles Mingus on this new release titled, Pussy Cat Dues (The Music Of Charles Mingus) featuring ex-Mingus sidemen: trombonist Jimmy Knepper and alto saxophonist Charles McPherson. And along with the “WDR Big Band under the direction of Bill Dobbins and ex-Count Basie drummer Dennis Mackrel - Mingus’ music receives yet another facelift; although you may not notice anything that suggests a revelation here, especially when considering the incessant efforts of the time-honored “Mingus Big Band”. Yet, Mahogany’s lush, poignant and soulful renderings of “Eclipse”, “Portrait”, Pussy ...read more
Saxophonists Kirk Whalum and Michael Brecker lend a helping hand on singer Kevin Mahogany’s ballad album. It’s a romantic session with piano trio and expressive melodies.
Mahogany experiences a few pitch problems on the title track; the arrangement leaves his voice out front and naked. Bass and drums sit out that one, and the result is one of vulnerability for the singer; not an uncommon event when the topic of romance comes along. Elsewhere, his husky baritone voice blends well with the piano trio and saxophones. Lush Life," the other exception, finds vocalist and pianist in a serious moment, keeping ...read more