Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

294

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: A Morning in Paris

Read "A Morning in Paris" reviewed by Donald Elfman


This recording belongs alongside the famous Reprise recording of Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio (Warner Bros., 1963)--now Abdullah Ibrahim. It comes from the same period and introduced the world to Ibrahim's then girlfriend, Beattie Benjamin (now Sathima Bea Benjamin). Actually, Benjamin heard Ellington in Zurich and convinced him to come hear Brand perform. Ellington also insisted that Benjamin sing for him, and the subsequent recordings were thought to be lost until relatively recently. Benjamin is ...

305

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: SongSpirit

Read "SongSpirit" reviewed by AAJ Staff


To celebrate her recent septuagenarian status, vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin selected twelve tracks spanning eight releases for inclusion on SongSpirit, from her first early-'60s sessions to her latest disc (Musical Echoes, 2002), in essence releasing a “greatest hits compilation--though who in jazz makes hit records?! Benjamin wisely selects an array of gems, particularly her standout original South African roots numbers “Africa and “Children of Soweto. Both are features for two close musical partners: bassist Buster Williams--whose inimitable ...

224

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: SongSpirit

Read "SongSpirit" reviewed by Andrew Rowan


Legions of jazz singers are out there these days with good chops and solid work. What is often missing, however, is that individual spark, those personal qualities that set the singer apart from the rest. Sathima Bea Benjamin possesses that spark, with a unique, aching quality in her voice that meshes well with the spirituality that informs her song readings. She can seamlessly move from mournful expression to joyous near exultation, and the SongSpirit compendium brims with these gifts.

This ...

217

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: SongSpirit

Read "SongSpirit" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone


Having had the pleasure of hearing the most recent of Sathima Bea Benjamin's albums, Musical Echoes, some six months ago, I'm hesitant to add any more superlatives now that this retrospective look at the career of one of our finest jazz vocalists is about to be released. SongSpirit covers recordings made from 1963-2002. This collection of recordings shows Benjamin's affinity for pianists and includes the participation of some of the best: including Duke Ellington, Kenny Barron, Larry Willis and, of ...

240

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: SongSpirit

Read "SongSpirit" reviewed by Jim Santella


A “best of compilation of Sathima Bea Benjamin's work between 1963 and 2002, SongSpirit lets emotions soar through the poignant themes that she's chosen to represent over the years. Whether she's interpreting jazz standards or telling personal stories about her undying dedication to her homeland, Benjamin always gives it a hundred percent. The fact that she prefers to work with various jazz piano trios from the higher echelons means that we get nothing but the best.

The previously ...

159

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: Musical Echoes

Read "Musical Echoes" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone


Musical Echoes marks Sathima Bea Benjamin's return to recording after Cape Town Love (1999). This album was recorded in her hometown, Cape Town, and reflects a certain sense of return for the vocalist. My own association with her music goes back to 1979 and her second album, Sathima Sings Ellington, the first release on her own Ekapa label. Over the years, I've continued to be impressed with her unique voice and consistency. Upon hearing this 2006 update, I have to ...

199

Album Review

Sathima Bea Benjamin: Musical Echoes

Read "Musical Echoes" reviewed by Jim Santella


Sathima Bea Benjamin recorded this program of jazz standards in February 2002 when she returned to Cape Town to reconnect. The bassist and drummer working with her are from South Africa. The music, however, is universal.

Benjamin uses her veteran ears to experiment with pitch, and her accompanists follow suit. Bassist Basil Moses slides gently through “Caravan, for example, bringing its exotic sheen out into the daylight. Pianist Stephen Scott provides dense harmony, drummer Lulu Gontsana adds unique ...


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