Maurice Brown and the Maurice Brown Effect gave the crowd at New York's Jazz Standard a musical journey through their stunning release, the Cycle of Love. This journey will not soon to be forgotten with its energy, fun and musicianship that was second to none. This was a must buy album for me.
New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge him on his views, is hardly lost for words. His outspoken nature has allowed him to create material for “Bitches”, a CD with a controversial title with tracks that draws experiences from his own love life.
One of the great privileges of being a music critic is after listening to tons of average, go-for-the-chord-changes-and-try-not-to-make-a-mistake, recordings, occasionally a CD comes along that makes a singularly accomplished artistic statement. Such is the case with trumpeter-cornetist-flugelhornist-composer Christian Scott’s new CD, Anthem.
Terrence Blanchard has charisma and the power to make sounds that are strong and entrapping, sound that roots itself in the soul. "Ghost of Congo Square" speaks to charisma but it is the charisma of African music and dance, African tongues, African rhythms and how they became American Creole. Terrence Blanchard said to Lolis Elie that "The Souls of Congo Square.... understand better than we do how a story such as this one unfolds in the end."
When I was first asked to interview Steffen Kuehn, I was a bit hesitant. Fact was I had never heard of him and feared he would probably be one of those artists with a CD from which only one or two songs would be notable. However, my Editor assured me that the CD was good and I would enjoy it. Reluctantly I accepted the assignment and awaited the arrival of the CD.
It was similar to the old adage; which would come first, the chicken or the egg or, in this …