Jazz Articles

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Album Review

Robin McKelle & The Flytones: Soul Flower

Read "Soul Flower" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

First, Robin McKelle & The Flytones Soul Flower is not neo-soul. Neo-soul is what Amy Winehouse was and Cee Lo Green is (at least on his “Forget You"). Neo-soul is a cheeky attempt to cash in on a classic style while, at the same time, not taking it seriously. Second, Soul Flower might be better termed retro-soul, except that McKelle avoids the pitfall of clinging too tightly to the old style that has plagued other artists trying to put a ...


Album Review

Robin McKelle: Modern Antique

Read "Modern Antique" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Sometimes, when a jazz vocalist does a big band arrangement of a rock or pop hit, the results can be classical. Robin McKelle avoids that trap from the very start with her swinging rendition of Steve Miller's “Abracadabra." The lyrics are perfectly suitable for a jazz offering, and the blend of McKelle's voice and the horns is magical.That cover opens Modern Antique, McKelle's follow-up to her debut, Introducing Robin McKelle (Cheap Lullaby, 2006). Boston-bred McKelle has taught voice ...



Robin McKelle: Songbird On The Wing

Read "Robin McKelle: Songbird On The Wing" reviewed by Marcia Hillman

Robin McKelle's career as a recording artist and a performer is on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic. She is already a jazz star in France and has appeared at the Blue Note and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City. Exposed to music at home by her mother, a musician, McKelle began singing at an early age and playing piano at the age of five. In her early teens, she became interested in jazz. She switched from ...


Album Review

Robin McKelle: Modern Antique

Read "Modern Antique" reviewed by Marcia Hillman

Robin McKelle knows fine ways to treat a song. Once again, as in her debut Introducing Robin McKelle (Cheap Lullaby, 2006), her vocal ability and flexibility sparkles as she sings, scats and swings with a big band behind her. This time, however, she shows more rhythm and blues touches and also captures an old-fashioned torch song delivery in her treatment of mostly standard material. McKelle has a wonderfully rich assortment of qualities in her voice. She is ...


Album Review

Robin McKelle: Introducing Robin McKelle

Read "Introducing Robin McKelle" reviewed by Marcia Hillman

Robin McKelle's debut CD is a blast of fresh air from the past. Introducing is done from the stance of a band singer from the 1940s in musical format and material, logical since most legendary jazz and pop singers learned their trade that way. Most of the tracks are read in standard fashion--the band taking the opening choruses and the vocals coming in on the second, with strings added on the ballads. Many of the arrangements come ...


Album Review

Robin McKelle: Introducing Robin McKelle

Read "Introducing Robin McKelle" reviewed by Jim Santella

Accompanied by a big band that features many of LA's top sidemen, Robin McKelle sings from the Great American Songbook on this solo recording debut. It's an excellent choice. The songs seem to be an integral part of her personality.

McKelle interprets “Dream with a subtle caress, “I've Got the World on a String with a glad-happy attitude, and “The Lamp is Low with seamless phrases that flow evenly on high. Her interpretations and those of her orchestra ...



Robin McKelle: A Different Approach

Read "Robin McKelle: A Different Approach" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Robin McKelle doesn't fancy herself a jazz singer. However, with a little prompting from her producer, she has released a first-rate jazz album. Unlike other vocalists whose debuts have featured many of the same standards, McKelle went back a little further with Introducing Robin McKelle. She even approached the process differently, spending her own money to make sure she got it done her way. All About Jazz: A lot of debut vocalists do standards, but your approach was ...


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