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Pride and Joy

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Album Review

Kevin Mahogany's decision to cover Motown hits in a jazz setting stems from his desire to not only increase the audience for jazz, but to add new material to the music's repertoire, in addition to the established standards. The results are ear-opening, particularly for those who never seriously listened to the likes of Marvin Gaye or Smokey Robinson. Mahogany, whose richly textured baritone helped him become one of the top male jazz vocalists to emerge during the 1990s, arranged several of the tracks, including the stark "My World Is Empty Without You," where his only backing is provided by bassist Melissa Slocum and percussionist Don Alias, as well as a swinging treatment of "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game." The singer is backed by a quartet of singers for catchy doo wop interpretations of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" and "Reach Out I'll Be There." Pianist James Weidman, who provides just the right support on six of the CD's 11 tracks, is the sole accompanist and arranger of "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," reworking this huge hit into a lush ballad. Gaye's "Pride and Joy," arranged by guitarist Dave Stryker, is recast in a driving hard bop setting, featuring Mahogany's scat exchanges with the muted trumpet of Jon Faddis. Stryker also contributed the tasty chart of "I Can't Get Next to You" and a startling, very slow ballad treatment of "The Tears of a Clown," where his acoustic guitar is the only backing for Mahogany's magical vocals. This stunning release is heartily recommended.

Customer Reviews

Pride and Joy

I heard "Just My Imagination" for years, this is the first time I really heard it. KM puts it together with his tremendous range and gift for accessing phrase.

MY NEW FOUND FRIEND!

I recently discovered this gentleman, while listening to another jazz vocalist CD, made up of multiple artists. I was blown away by his jazz interpretations of Motown Classics that I had grown up with. I love this man's rich deep baritone voice, so romantic. I could hear him sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb", and be excited, that's how wonderful this man sounds. Nice to see someone carrying on the legacy of jazz for another generation. Please buy this CD, you will love it.

very fine

Kevin Mahogany, from what I hear, is amazing live, in cutting contests with other vocalists. Somehow his recordings always strike me as a little bit dead. But not this one! It's easily his best. I'm not as big a fan of the numbers with the a capella groups (Take 6, they ain't. But who is?) But he clearly feels these songs. And I'm finally impressed. But the official review, the one says this album will open the ears of those who never listened seriously to Smokey or Marving Gaye?!?! What fool never listened seriously to those GIANTS of 20th c music? No matter what your favorite style of music, Smokey and Marvin are inescapable songwriters.

Biography

Born: July 30, 1958 in Kansas City, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Kevin Mahogany's sudden prominence in the mid-'90s was a relief to many who felt that male jazz singers under the age of 60 were non-existent. His swinging style is reminiscent, but not derivative of, Joe Williams. Mahogany played piano, clarinet, and various saxophones while growing up before deciding to specialize in singing. He attended Baker University in Kansas and sang locally in some R&B groups. In the early '90s, Mahogany dedicated himself to jazz and, after two fine albums for Enja,...
Full Bio
Pride and Joy, Kevin Mahogany
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