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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucinda Belle: Think Big: Like Me

Read "Think Big: Like Me" reviewed by Paul Naser

Oscar nominated singer-songwriter Lucinda Belle isn't the first to do what she does, but she may be among the most eclectic; the vocalist/harpist keeps tradition alive by feeding it with myriad influences. Though her vocal style and choice of instrumentation often suggest jazz, she reaches well beyond the idiom while staying true to its roots. Her ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Versal: Versal

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Houston-based composer, computer graphics (CG) artist and programmer Versal, whose given name is Javier Velez, has a unique backstory in addition to his unique set of creative skills. These blend together to create a one-of-a-kind, very specific, style which he showcases in his eponymous EP, Versal (Self Produced, 2019).

As one might expect from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Ragonese: Day to Day

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If you haven't heard Michael Ragonese's name before, you're sure to hear it a lot more. The award winning pianist is a constant fixture in Los Angeles; if he's not a sideman at one club, he's leading a band at another. Among the many luminaries he has performed or recorded with are: Bennie Maupin, David Binney, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Patrick Ames: All I Do Is Bleed

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Lyric writing is an oft under-appreciated element in contemporary music. Guitarist/songwriter Patrick Ames puts lyrics front and center in his rootsy tunes. Somewhere between Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground and Robert Johnson (without the slide), Ames' stripped down recordings are direct a transmission of his feelings, aided by gritty, loose arrangements that give the feel of ...

Ryan Whyman: Fantasies & Memories

Read "Fantasies & Memories" reviewed by Paul Naser

In times like these, when the world seems to be changing so quickly, it feels like happy memories are among the few things we can rely on for comfort. The face of an old friend; the recollection of days spent with loved ones; the excitement of hopes and dreams. Yet, time stops for no-one and, though ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joan Torres's All Is Fused: Revolution

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Since the band's last record, Of The Musical (Self Produced, 2016), Joan Torres' All Is Fused has taken time to dig deeper into its influences and expand its sound. This year All Is Fused returns with an evolved vibe that finds it delving deep into fusion and Latin with a slight nod to the avant-garde and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bryan McAllister: Very Stable Genius

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In case you haven't been reminded within the last five minutes, Donald Trump is the president of the United States of America. Also, on the inconceivable chance that he has not tweeted or otherwise been at the center of news coverage lately, he is known to misspell words, utter non-truths, and generally polarize the political landscape ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucinda Belle: Think Big: Like Me

Read "Think Big: Like Me" reviewed by Paul Naser

Jazz vocalist and harpist Lucinda Belle has an infectious enthusiasm and personality. Her newest single, “Baby Don't Cry" is a determined appeal to stay strong through tough times while looking forward to better times ahead. The soul-inspired groove keeps the song moving while her lyrics acknowledge hardship while putting things in perspective.

“Baby Don't ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chris Lastovicka: Fortune Has Turned (Remixed)

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"The end of separateness. The beginning of the heart." So reads the description on the recently premiered video for composer Chris Lastovicka's “The End of Tyranny (Remixed)," one of two singles from their upcoming Fortune Has Turned (Remixed), to be released April 12, 2019, on the Ahari label.

The evocative “The End of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucinda Belle: Think Big: Like Me

Read "Think Big: Like Me" reviewed by Paul Naser

As a reported tour featuring Amy Winehouse's hologram nears in winter 2018 and news also comes of a final album by The O'Jays, it seems there is still room in the world for music rooted in soul and with “jazzy" inflections. Enter vocalist/harpist/songwriter Lucinda Belle.

Less Dorothy Ashby and more Peggy Lee (if Lee ...