Kevin Mahogany seems to have been focusing on very specific themes for his last three albums. My Romance dealt strictly with love songs and Pussy Cat Dues was dedicated to the music of Charles Mingus. Now for his first album for Telarc, the singer takes his rich baritone voice to the land of Motown's sophisticated R & B, honing in on a play list that recalls that style's heyday of the 1960's and 1970's, adding a jazz inflection to the music. The scene is set with Mahogany joined by a quartet of singers for A Capella rendition of Stevie Wonder's classic "Signed, Sealed,.Delivered I'm Yours" with Mahogany engaging in considerable wordless vocalizing. More A Capella comes with an enthusiastic, but somewhat lurching and overly busy, "Reach Out I'll Be There". Sometimes simple is better, especially when the singer has such a powerful, passionate voice like Mahogany's. The swinging, up beat offering of Marvin Gaye's "Pride and Joy", where the singer is backed by a strong quintet of instrumentalists led by Jon Faddis, is closer to the Motown most of us are likely to remember. Other Motown legends who are remembered on this mostly entertaining CD are Smokey Robinson, Barrett Strong and Jim Weatherly. Weatherly's lovely ballad "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye)", is one of the more engrossing tracks on the album with the fine Dave Stryker guitar providing the main support. Mahogany's voice is in fine fettle on this disc, which is recommended. Visit Mahogany at www.jazzsinger.com .
Track Listing: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours; Pride and Joy; I Can't Get Next to You; Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye); The Tears of a Clown; Reach Out I'll Be There; My world Is empty Without You; Never Can Say Goodbye; She's Out of My Life; The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game; Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
Personnel: Kevin Mahogany, Gregory Clark, Todd Johnson, Gerald Trottman, Peter Eldridge - Vocals; Jon Faddis - Trumpet; James Weideman - Piano; Dave Stryker - Guitar; Melissa Slocum - Bass; Charles Haynes - Drums/Telephone Books; Don Alias - Percussion
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.