Stevie Wonder

Recent Articles

Keith works hard to stay cool

He didn’t know what else to do except say, “You look great.” Of course, she looks great, stupid. Could you be anymore lame? He forced himself not to look around in anticipation of that man who’d answered her phone stepping up next to Lesli, sliding an arm around that slender waist, settling a palm on that shapely hip. Keith didn’t know what to do or what not to do. And he knew she knew it. Continue Reading →

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Former professional takes “a massive leap of faith” into music career

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer

 

A Michael Jackson cover makes the United Kingdom top ten hits charts.  A music video of the song was aired on a cable music channel.  The song helped the artist that did the cover earn Grammy best artist consideration. Kenya McGuire Johnson left her career several years ago as an educator, clinical instructor and higher education administrator and took “a massive leap of faith.”  Now Kenya, the jazz/R&B singer — who uses only her first name professionally — is now working on her third CD. The young musician recently spoke with the MSR by phone from her Chicago home. “I did a lot of music growing up” in Denver, Colorado, including being active in choirs, and jazz bands, recalls Kenya, who has been singing since the age of eight. While in college, she was a member of the Howard University Gospel Choir. Continue Reading →

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The re-rebirth of soul

Electric Lady Janelle Monáe delivers
By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer
Janelle Monáe’s concert on Tuesday, October 22 at the Skyway Theater, like her music, referenced a legacy of soul that young audiences were eager to witness. The music from her latest contribution, The Electric Lady, like her past works, is thought-provoking and critical, yet funky and cutting edge. Monáe’s music is bringing Afro-futurism to modern-day realities with cleverness, freshness and fun in a musical climate that is in desperate need of her fearless, funky soul. The show was a dynamic unforgettable experience that made it clear she has all of the makings of a musical icon. Monáe is a genius at making music that is complex and entertaining – an impressive pairing in a musical era in which mainstream content is often saturated with lyrics that seem allergic to any real depth or social reflection. Continue Reading →

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Lorber and company wow Dakota crowd

Jazz and R&B heavyweights come together for “special show”

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Last week was the first time I attended a Dakota Jazz Club late show. Several patrons that attended the earlier Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Shawn LaBelle, and Stokley Williams set on August 28 told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. They weren’t wrong. Billed as “a special show featuring four of the biggest names in contemporary jazz and R&B,” the four veteran artists easily could have done a solo performance at the downtown Minneapolis club, but as a quartet, they nonetheless rocked the house. LaBelle, who plays keyboards and bass, assembled the quartet: “It means a lot to have all these guys come in. Continue Reading →

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Barack Obama needs to free Marissa Alexander

 

 

The problem is not the Stand Your Ground law. It’s with its application. A cowardly predator like George Zimmerman can hide behind the statute, but, Marissa Alexander got 20 years. This is, as anyone can tell you, because Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, a young Black man and Marissa Alexander is a Black woman. That is why the law worked for Zimmerman and did not work for Alexander, sent her to jail for protecting herself, her home and her children from her abusive ex. Continue Reading →

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Legendary guitarist still going strong with new CD — Self-taught virtuoso has recorded over 30 albums

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Earl Klugh’s 60th birthday is this coming September. As a result he is celebrating with his first solo record since 2006. “A birthday gift to me? I didn’t think of it that way,” admits Klugh on HandPicked, his first CD release by Heads Up International. It is his third solo effort, but his first “with multiple original solo guitar pieces.” The 16-track set hit stores on July 30. Continue Reading →

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The SF JAZZ Collective at Dakota March 19

 

 

 

The SF JAZZ Collective returns to the Dakota on March 19 for one of the most anticipated musical performances of the year. The world-class ensemble will feature the repertoire of Chick Corea, legendary keyboardist and new compositions. The SF JAZZ Collective, an award-winning all-star octet includes saxophonist David Sánchez and drummer Obed Calvaire, founding member and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon and bassist Matt Penman. SFJAZZ is a jazz presenting and educational institution based in San Francisco — a nonprofit devoted to jazz, showcasing jazz and encouraging the development of jazz. thro

The MSR caught up with famed vibraphonist-composer-educator Stefon Harris (SH) on his SF JAZZ tour bus to talk about SF JAZZ Collective, rising star vibraphonists, his other projects, and the presidential election. Continue Reading →

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New music includes an early look at 2013 releases

 

Early next year, the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records is set to release two new albums from two legendary artists, Aaron Neville and Wayne Shorter. Now the label is busy promoting both artists and albums via touring and television. Shorter has even written a new piece composed for Esperanza Spalding, who recently won a 2012 Soul Train Music Award. Adding to the highly anticipated upcoming 2013 release schedule thus far, the Concord-Telarc division has released an impressive list of some new 2013 releases of their own. But wait: Helping to round out this year’s crop of new releases is one from ArtistShare featuring the Clayton brothers with friends. Continue Reading →

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Martha Reeves tells of her six-month secretarial stint at Motown

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Motown legend Martha Reeves is featured in a new documentary released in February that features collaborations between veteran and younger, newer performers. She recorded a track about Detroit with Crystal Method for “Re-Generation.”

“The Detroit that I knew will never exist again,” admits Reeves during an exclusive interview with the MSR in January. Her memories of suddenly being called off stage in July 1967 because of a riot that began in the city “always will be etched in my mind,” notes Reeves. “It was scary.”

Martha and the Vandellas was the second all-female group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, nearly a decade after the Supremes in 1988. Reeves, Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard produced nearly 30 hits including “Heat Wave” and “Dancing in the Street” for Motown. Continue Reading →

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