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REVIEW: Leila Adu — "Dark Joan" (Frizz Records, 2009)

I first met Leila Adu at this year’s URB Alt Festival and was immediately struck by her bold approach to song structure.  It’s not that she throws out pop song structure, but that she’s not neccesarily constrained by it.  In the course of my thinking about this album, I came across this review that URB […]

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LISTENING POST: Rain Machine—“Smiling Black Faces”

Rain Machine's Heidi Ferrell (l) and Kyp Malone Kyp Malone has an unusual voice.  It’s unusual in that most black male singers are going for mellifluousness, and I don’t think anyone would describe Kyp’s voice that way. But that’s not to say his voice isn’t affecting, because it is.  One reviewer described his voice as  […]

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REVIEW: Living Colour—“The Chair In The Doorway”

Vital, vibrant and burning, Living Colour return with a thrilling fifth studio album. For some of us, it’s hard to believe that it’s been over 21 years since Living Colour kicked in the doors to mainstream consciousness with their debut album, Vivid (May, 1988), which yielded three singles, including their Grammy-winning signature song, “Cult of […]

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REVIEW: Analogue Transit — "Gearheart" (Worldsound)

Analogue Transit: Kwaku Aning (l) and Jeff Shreiner Can analog and digital techniques co-exist?  For Analogue Transit – vocalist-guitarist Kwaku Aning and keyboardist-production wiz Jeff Shreiner – the answer is not only a resounding yes, but it's a necessary pairing.  Gearheart is a nine song collection in which baby grand pianos clash with 21st Century […]

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REVIEW: Stew and The Broadway Problem @ Lincoln Center — August 19

Stew always keeps 'em guessing.   Stew has made a career out of it – first with The Negro Problem, then later as solo artist.  He later confonted all expectations when his first stab at a musical, 'Passing Strange' had a strong run first at The Public Theater, then later on Broadway.  Spike Lee was […]

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REVIEW: Kevin O'Neal/Tricky Dilemma @ The MMAC, Bloomfield, NJ 6/27/09

(l to r): Val Jeanty, Marvin Sewell, Bruce Mack, Kevin O'Neal Photo and review by Earl Douglas On a night that was described by Bruce Mack as 'Duke Ellington meets Frank Zappa', Kevin O'Neal (accompanied by Patrice Quinn) and tribal electro trio Tricky Dilemma, played the The Multi-Media Arts Center in Bloomfield, New Jersey.    […]

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REVIEW: Booker T. — Potato Hole (Anti)

Note: Booker T. is at Joe’s Pub in NYC tonight, 6/10.  Still time to get tix! Someone with the musical credentials and legacy of Booker T. Jones didn’t have to go out and strike a new path.  But one of the things that I’ve always admired about him – besides the fact that he was […]

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Upcoming: BRC Native Sundays continues June 7 w/ Earl Greyhound!

The Greyhound gang returns to conjure up the funk. Last time I saw Earl Greyhound (and, in fact, the first), it was a great experience.  So I'm sure they'll tear it up again on June 7. Never seen Simi, but I know she's from the band Sufrajett, who was on the BRC's Rock n Roll […]

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Photos: Tamar-kali vs. Jean Grae–3/28/09

Two powerful women tore up Santos back in March. Yeah, Tamar-kali and Jean Grae.  After seeing their individual sets, I couldn't help but wonder why these two aren't better known.  Both are really engaging performers.  One of the things I would've liked to have seen was more collaboration between the two.  They did one number […]

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REVIEW: Melvin Gibbs' Elevated Entity – Ancients Speak (Live Wired)

 Time Out NY calls him "the world's best bassist". And for good reason. Bassist Melvin Gibbs adds to his already stunning musicial resume with  a truly world music record.  On Ancients Speak, recorded field hollers meets underground hip-hop, Afro-Beat swims with monster funk grooves, yet there's still room for soaring Hendrixian guitar solos and transcendental […]

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