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Esther Phillips

The late Esther Phillips unquestionably falls into the realm of great singers who never received recognition for what was a lifelong contribution to contemporary music. Born Esther Mae Jones in Galveston, Texas, she began singing in church as a young child. When her parents divorced, she divided time between her father in Houston and her mother in the Watts area of Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles, in 1949, that her sister entered her in a talent show at a nightclub belonging to blues man Johnny Otis. So impressed was Otis with the 13-year-old that he brought her into the studio for a recording session with Modern Records and added her to his live revue

ARTICLE: RADIO

Steven Bernstein, Michael Brecker and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop world - Part 1

Read "Steven Bernstein, Michael Brecker and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop world - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we focus on Steven Bernstein and Michael Brecker, the quintessential jazz-hackers of the pop world. If you heard a compelling saxophone solo on a high-end pop or rock production, especially between the 1970s and 1990s, you could bet it was by Michael Brecker, who over the years has appeared on almost 1000 ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Hanksgiving: Jazz Tributes to Hank Williams

Read "Hanksgiving: Jazz Tributes to Hank Williams" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Do you sympathize with the plight of the turkeys? Do family reunions bring you anxiety? Then forget about Thanksgiving! Mondo Jazz is here to help you switch to Hanksgiving, with two hours of Jazz tributes to the great Hank Williams, the only singer who is more American than pumpkin pie! This week we have ...

Lola Batiste

Vocals Elite - Lola Batiste -Recording Artist ​Born in Paris, Texas to a musical family, Lola Batiste whose aunt was a Baptist church pianist/singer with a fervent vocal style had an early influence on Lola's interpretation of a lyric. Lola attended the Catholic church whose choir pianist had a more repressed style, began singing hymns in the church where she fused her aunt's fervent gospel singing influence with the subdued style of the Catholic church creating a unique mix of vocal style that leaned more toward a melancholy vibe. She has worked with some of DFW's finest such as jazz vocalist Victor Cager and pianist/vocalist James Belk while honing her craft. In 2017 Lola competed in the "Denise Lee Onstage So You Think You Can Cabaret" competition where she won 3rd place with her rendition of Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow". In a musical collaboration with songwriter Nico Rizzuto of Cologne, Germany Lola provided the vocals for the creation of “Because You Know Me” a jazzy tune that had some airplay in Germany. Lola has also had the honor of being a member of the prestigious Women's Chorus of Dallas where she sang first soprano under the artistic direction of Melinda Imthurn.​ Along with two other actresses she portrayed Diana Ross with the Supremes in the Marsha Moses musical production of “From Dixie to Broadway” a musical documenting the history of African American music

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)

Read "Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)" reviewed by John Kelman

In the world of music, there are plenty of “could have beens," but far fewer “should have beens." Count Jeff Berlin amongst the latter. The American electric bassist first made a number of marks in the second half of the musically innovative 1970s on a series of '76 recordings by singers Patti Austin and Esther Phillips, ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017

Read "John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by John Kelman

For those who may have noticed, there have been no best of lists coming from yours truly since 2014; sadly, the chronic health problem that has reduced my previous writing pace to a crawl continues without much respite. My best of the year lists have always been predicated upon having reviewed the releases chosen, and with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bruford: Seems Like a Lifetime Ago 1977 - 1980

Read "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago 1977 - 1980" reviewed by John Kelman

With the plethora of box sets being issued these days with new masters and, perhaps even more importantly, new mixes of classic recordings, it was inevitable that the small but significant discography of drummer Bill Bruford's first steps into a solo career with his band Bruford should finally get the deluxe treatment. Seems Like a Lifetime ...

The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!

Read "The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!" reviewed by John Kelman

In a time when album sales are a challenge being mitigated, at least to some extent, by the release of deluxe editions and box sets, it's still more necessary than ever to grab potential listeners with imagery and words; the title of a box set can have, especially for those less than intimately familiar with the ...

Eyewitness Trilogy

Read "Eyewitness Trilogy" reviewed by John Kelman

Emerging on the New York scene in the mid-1970s, guitarist Steve Khan didn't long at all to develop a strong reputation as both chameleon-like session guitarist—comfortably crossing over from the jazz world into pop and rock and gracing albums by artists ranging from Esther Phillips, Freddie Hubbard and David Sanborn to Phoebe Snow, Billy Joel and ...

Grover Washington, Jr.: Winelight (Hybrid SACD 5.1 Multichannel)

Read "Grover Washington, Jr.: Winelight (Hybrid SACD 5.1 Multichannel)" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

When Grover Washington, Jr. passed away in 1999 the jazz world lost one of its most successful and talented creators, and in his wake a slew of saxophonists have stepped up to fill the void. None have. jny: Philadelphia jazz deejay Bob Perkins said, of Washington, a native of the City of Brotherly Love, “He was ...


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