Kevin Mahogany

Pride & Joy

Telarc CD-83542

Kevin Mahogany, vocals; Jon Faddis, trumpet/flugelhorn; Gregory Clark, Tod Johnson, tenors; Gerald Trottman, baritone; Peter Eldridge, Melissa Slocum, bass; James Weidmann, piano; Dave Stryker, guitar; Charles Haynes, drums, "telephone books"; Don Alias, percussion

Some of these tunes (such as "Signed Sealed and Delivered") may have the quality of funk but they sometimes offer less content than a singer of Mahogany's caliber requires. Marvin Gaye's "Pride and Joy", on the other hand, turns out to be something of a perfect vehicle for the singer, and the groove is compulsive. Mahogany sings and scats in the best Jazz tradition, giving the tune a very special lift, especially when trading off with Jon Faddis on trumpet. One gets to look forward to the instrumental and vocal improvisation (pianist Weidman sure delivers), and Faddis is magnificent every time he approaches the mic. Mahogany is the hottest male vocalist around and he raises most of the material to previously unknown heights. The beautiful "She's Out My Life" is made all the more marvelous by Faddis on flugelhorn, and Mahogany's deep, nut-brown (sorry, couldn't resist) voice is perfect for the tune. The singer bounces groovily on the excellent rhythm section in "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game", and guitarist Stryker gets to stretch a little. Some Jazz purists will need to put some of their prejudices behind them ­ but hell, the guy really is a great singer. Go for it!

by Lawrence Brazier

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