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Kosi: Pictures of Us

Roger Farbey By

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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.

By contrast, "Pictures of Us" is a funkier track, with unison trumpet and guitar bursts and an fluid guitar solo from Aron Marchak. The simplicity of "Your Angel" is infused with emotion, just Kosi accompanying herself on acoustic guitar along with a solitary double bass demonstrating her effectiveness without the benefit of a band accompaniment. The plaintive "Valerie" is a more conventional ballad adorned by a tenor saxophone solo. "Untitled Art Song (in E minor)" features Kosi accompanied by Dan Saulpaugh's ruminative guitar, juxtaposing elegantly with her searing vocals.

"Hoboken Blues" is a more straightforward blues, embellished by bluesy trumpet and here Kosi's wide vocal range is shown to great effect. "Lover's Song (Be the One)" closes this album with delicate aplomb and reinforces the feeling that this talented singer (who, incidentally, wrote eight out of the ten songs on the album) should be destined for stardom.

Track Listing: Wild is the Wind; I Already Know; Brianna; The Star Crossed Lovers; Pictures of Us; Your Angel; Valerie; Untitled Art Song in E minor; Hoboken Blues; Lovers’ Song (Be the One).

Personnel: Kosi: vocals: Jonathan Rooke: vocals; Angeleisha "Trumpetess" Rodgers: trumpet, flugelhorn; Brendon "Notorious" Biagi: tenor saxophone; Aron Marchak: guitar; Dan Saulpaugh: guitar; Julian Smith: bass; Isaiah Pierce: drums.

Title: Pictures of Us | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


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