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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: Pictures of Us

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“Wild is the Wind" opens with a graceful flugelhorn solo by Angeleisha “Trumpetess" Rodgers, a welcome change of tack for a vocal-based album with the singularly-named Kosi only entering three minutes into the number. “I Already Know" continues the slow ballad tempo of the opener, but with the added benefit of a magnetic hook line of the repeated angst-ridden title, at once moving and extremely effective. “Brianna," a soulful ballad, is both musically and lyrically haunting. In Duke Ellington's “The Star Crossed Lovers," Kosi demonstrates an ethereal quality with echoey wordless vocals and engaging guitar from Aron Marchak. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: Pictures of Us

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This is an album whose authenticity and directness of expression is matched only by its underlying artistic complexity and conceptual nuances. Kosi Gyebi Sorensen (Akosua Gyebi) is a New York-based singer and composer whose vocal persona on this album is that of a young woman of humble origins struggling with the trials of intimacy and love, the apotheosis of Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The Facebook pages of the singer herself, however, reveal a sophisticated, intellectually gifted African American woman who thinks deeply about such literature as Milton's Paradise Lost and Dante's Divine Comedy. Since she ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Kosi: Onwards and Upwards

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Akosua Gyebi, known as Kosi, has a voluptuous, mesmeric voice and has just released her first solo album One More Cup Of Coffee on her own label which received positive reviews. Kosi is a songstress who tells stories through her music. In her songs, you find tales of the seedier side of New York, the darker side where long shadows, broken relationships and hard life stories come to life. Kosi sings with emotion and candor and has an extensive vocal range. Kosi began singing in her church choir at a small church in southeast Queens. She was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: One More Cup of Coffee

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KOSI: One More Cup Of Coffee Akosua Gyebi--AKA Kosi is a vocalist with a beautiful, sultry voice and a very distinctive style. Her self-produced debut album One More Cup Of CoffeeAron Marchak. It is an album which relates the tales of the night people of New York, with their ups, downs, affairs, anger,lost loves and triumphs. Kosi sings with poignancy and tender emotion and the listener is drawn into the songs and characters she paints with her music. In the opening number “Goodbye Pork Hat" Kosi uses her wonderful smoky voice as an instrument, working with Marchak's guitar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: One More Cup of Coffee

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Akosua Gyebi, known as Kosi released her debut album One More Cup of Coffee. Deeply rooted in the New York scene, Kosi weaves along guitarist Aron Marshak powerful melodies in graceful style. From folk, blues, to jazz, Kosi captures urban tales in a contralto emotive tone. Indeed, with a voice husky with emotion, Kosi sings her heart out. Singing about love, reflecting upon urban life or just whistling upon guitar riffs, Kosi is generous with her approach to voicing rhythm. A delicate touch reminiscent of Tracy Chapman, some blues influences, and simple words are components of Kosi's approach ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: One More Cup Of Coffee

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In her own words, Kosi is “a New York born and bred singer-songwriter with nappy hair and jazz roots." She is the author of a stream-of-consciousness blog about her life of which the following is an extract: “I haven't washed my hair or shaved my arm pits (sic). I've brushed my teeth, but I haven't eaten. I'm still wearing the same clothes from yesterday. I meant to do laundry a few days ago, but I haven't gotten around to it. Instead I spray my dress down with pachoulli (sic) and vinegar. I smell like a marijuana salad." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kosi: One More Cup of Coffee

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Kosi is Akosua Gyebi Sorensen, a New York born and raised vocalist, guitarist and songwriter who attended Brooklyn College where she began performing with the college's Small Jazz Ensemble. According to her website, One More Cup of Coffee is her third album but the first released under her own name. It was recorded in August 2013 and features Kosi plus “one take wonder" guitarist Aron Marchak. The absence of any other instrumentation gives the music a loose, open feel and puts the voice and guitar firmly in the spotlight. Both are more than able to stand up to such scrutiny, ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Kosi

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Meet Akosua Gyebi: I am a songwriter born and raised in New York City. Instrument(s): Vocalist. Teachers and/or influences? Salim Washington, Katchie (Katchie) Cartwright, Miles Griffith, Abbey Lincoln, Jill Scott, Gregory Porter, and Nina Simone. Your sound and approach to music: I've been called powerful, and I usually bring just a little bit of drama to my interpretation. My sound is bigger than my body. I like to swing low and hard; I'm never more than a few steps away from the blues. Your ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kathy Kosins: To the Ladies of Cool

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Okay... first there came Kate McGarry's superb Girl Talk (Palmetto, 2012). Then Sara Gazarek followed her 2012 release with Triosence, Where Time Stands Still (Charleston Square) with Blossom &Bee (Palmetto, 2012). Now, vocalist Kathy Kosins follows up her excellent Mood Swings (Chiaroscuro, 2002) and inventive Vintage (Self Produced, 2005) with To the Ladies of Cool, a tribute to those tacitly LA-associated songbirds of the '40s and '50s: Anita O'Day, June Christy, Chris Connor and Julie London. This has been a grand jazz vocals season. Los Angeles in the 1940s and '50s was a jazz incubator in search ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kathy Kosins: To the Ladies of Cool

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Singers June Christy, Chris Connor, Anita O'Day and Julie London were prominent in the 1940s and '50s. Christy, O'Day and Connor all spent time with Stan Kenton's band, while the sultry London became a pinup as well as a big record seller. Popular with both jazz and pop fans, these singers could regularly be heard on 78s and radio, singing the siren call for the emerging West Coast cool sound. With her fifth album, To the Ladies of Cool, singer Kathy Kosins does a terrific job honoring these four greats with her honey-coated voice.Hailing from Detroit, Kosins has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kathy Kosins: Mood Swings

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Original Vocal Jazz-- The New Standards...

 

Kathy Kosins has a smart mouth. It is manifested in the jazz vocal jewels she composes and sings. The Detroit native sang back up vocals for Was (Not Was), as well as Nelson Riddle's Orchestra before releasing her maiden voyage All In A Dream's Work in 1995. She followed All... a year later with Standard Time. Six years after that, Ms. Kosins provides a real treat with Mood Swings.

Immediately the listener will note that Ms. Kosins pens the majority of music on this jazz vocal recording with a couple of very notable ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

West Nkosi: Sixteen Original Sax Jive Hits

Before he died from injuries sustained in a car crash in 1998, West Nkosi produced hit records for renowned South African bands Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. A household name in South Africa, Nkosi was best known as a producer, but he also achieved popularity as an alto saxophonist and pennywhistler. In the '60s and ‘70s, Nkosi was one of the chief practitioners of sax jive, a simple but danceable form of township music that married infectious sax riffs to percolating tribal rhythms. Sixteen Original Sax Jive Hits collects Nkosi’s biggest sax jive ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kathy Kosins: Mood Swings

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Her self-produced album showcases the Detroit native's songwriting: 7 of the 11 songs are hers. They're refreshing songs. “No Ordinary Joe" is based on the chord changes to “Pennies From Heaven." Kathy Kosins has studied the jazz repertoire, and consumed several years in creating this album. Her thin, light vocal quality, however, deters her from convincing. A veteran of pop music and R&B experiences, she's forced into a direction that holds her tightly in its grasp. Even the light, bossa nova mood on her “Love Me Like a Song" turns into an R&B experience. Other aspects of her project turn ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kathy Kosins: Mood Swings

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For her second album Detroiter Kathy Kosins has put together a set of songs, mostly originals, which are consistent with the album's title Mood Swings. It alternates between up tempo swingers and ballads designed to set the stage for romance, with a couple of in between blues inflected tunes to add some balance. On one of these, “Gee Baby (Ain't I Good to You)", Kosins shows she has the pipes to do a version of this tune that ranks up there with those by Ruth Brown and Jimmy Witherspoon. Helping to make this track work is the piano of Rick ...



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