If you’re like me, as musicologists we sometimes find ourselves locked in a box musically. The concept of “Jazz-Not-Jazz,” is as you know obviously nothing new. Nonetheless, in theory it derived from craving palpable sounds off the beaten path that doesn’t necessarily fit into the mold of what I normally listen to.

In closing, I’d love to accommodate all of you as music enthusiast but due to time, resources and space on this page I must eventually remove older material in order to add fresh content. Do enjoy each visit and please let us know what you think!

Israel Houghton guitarist, vocalist and songwriter

Israel Houghton & New Breed, JESUS AT THE CENTER

Israel Houghton & New Breed -][- JESUS AT THE CENTER –Mp3– [Integrity/Columbia, 2012]

This album is currently playing as I type this review because I can’t take it out of rotation. It’s a mix of Gospel, contemporary christian, latin, alternative, praise and worship just an all around good blend of music that oozes voices and words that keep Jesus at the Center at ALL times.

You will not be disappointed and Israel and New Breed has definitely delivered music for the world! A great music ministry and a great album hands down. -[Saroymiri | Customer Review | Amazon]-

Original Release Date: August 14, 2012

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Anthony David singer and songwriter

Anthony David, LOVE OUT LOUD

Anthony David -][- LOVE OUT LOUD [Ent. One Music, 2012]

Anthony David is definitely for the grown and sexy. There is a maturity in his voice and his lyrics speak to those who have truly experienced love in their lives. The lead single, “Sweet Pain”, is a perfect track to have as you sip some wine with that special someone. Love Out Loud, and has a smooth stepping groove reminiscent of the Isley Brothers. Currently in production for his fourth studio album, titled “Love Out Loud”, Anthony David constantly pushes the boundaries, and broadens people’s expectation from both him, and the community he represents. “I’ve never been one to shy away from titles, boxes, whatever you wanna call em, but I will EXPAND those boxes” is a quote that Anthony lives by. From day one it’s always been about consistency for David, and he continues to provide what people expect from him in as many ways as he is able. Raw, honest, pure, music from and for the soul. “Love Out Loud” will be flying off the shelves! -[Editorial Review]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

 Natalie Stewart vocalist and songwriter

The Floacist presents, Floetry ReBirth

The Floacist Presents: -][- Floetry Rebirth – [Shanachie, 2012]

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the groundbreaking platinum selling duo, Floetry. The brainchild of Natalie Stewart (The Floacist), who brought on board Marsha Ambrosious (The Songstress), Floetry became an international sensation still revered by their dedicated fan base while maintaining iconic status in the neo-soul community. Since then, both The Floacist and Marsha Ambrosious have launched highly successful and acclaimed solo careers. “Floetry Rebirth“, the Floacist’s second solo release, represents the ultimate refinement of the Floetry concept. Written and produced entirely by the Floacist, this brilliant production displays the essence of the vision that Ms. Stewart formulated over a decade ago. Beginnings with the aptly titled “Start Again”, featuring the great Raheem DeVaughn in an uplifting vibe reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, “Floetry Rebirth” delivers the unique neo-soul, jazz message of Floetry – sexy, uplifting, vibey, and cool. -[Editorial Review]-

The FloacistSay Yes VIDEO (YouTube)

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Greetings music lovers, this morning Terrill J. Hanna of The Urban Music Scene shared with me an exciting new artist named Ethan “E-Bassman” Farmer. At your leisure, check out the vid and let me know what you think about this exceptional bass player! –Rob Young

::: SOURCE: TUMS.com :::

Lianne La Havas, Vocalist, Guitarist & Songwriter

Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough

Lianne La Havas -][- Is Your Love Big Enough? –Mp3– [Nonesuch, 2012] –

Lianne La Havas is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from the UK and her debut CD “Is Your Love Big Enough?” sounds just as lovely as her name. It’s a blend of Soul, Jazz, and Folk, acting as a perfect backdrop to her feathery vocals which recall Erykah Badu or even Amel Larreux.

The album opens “Don’t Wake Me Up” opening with a wall of multi-layered vocals before morphing into a spacey guitar-driven ballad. The title track is a guitar/hand clap-driven affair, while “Lost & Found” is a piano ballad with quivery emotive vocals which would do Adele proud, as would the spare piano ballad “Gone”. “Au Cinema” is a soft ballad with twitchy sounding guitar, while “No Room For Doubt” is a tender duet with Willy Mason. “Forget” features skittery percussion and the angry lyrics “Waste all your time writing love songs, but you don’t love me”, while the unfussy acoustic “Age” is a spare Jazzy/Bluesy piece. -[Excerpt Customer Review by Nse Ette | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Lianne La Havas Featured in “Last Call with Carson DalySpotlight

::: SOURCE: Nonesuch :::

KEM, Multi-instrumentalist, Songwriter, Vocalist & Actor


KEM -][- What Christmas Means –Mp3– [Kemistry Records / Motown, 2012] –

Anyone who has ever seen R&B superstar Kem in concert knows that you’re in for a musical treat. Not just because of the music, which is absolutely phenomenal because Kem has such a unique voice and is such an amazing talent, but because he shares his life, wisdom, and faith onstage as well. Much to fans and critics delight, the highly regarded crooner is releasing a Christmas album, “What Christmas Means” on the Universal Records Label on October 16th.

As you listen to the very first song, “Glorify The King,” you know you’re in for a treat and that this isn’t just any Christmas album. Though some Christmas favorites are included, such as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “The Christmas Song”, “What Christmas Means” is full of heartwarming originals that serve to remind us what Christmas is really about. Choirs, stellar vocal and musical performances, superior arrangements and production are the hallmark of this album. And if there’s a Santa Claus, the album will almost certainly receive a Grammy nod. -[Excerpt | Customer Review by Michele Wilson-Morris | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Vashawn Mitchell, Created4This

Vashawn Mitchell -][- CREATED4THIS –Mp3– [EMI GOSPEL, 2012] –

On the heels of the widely successful release Triumphant, VaShawn Mitchell is back with his highly anticipated follow up project Created 4 This Recorded live in his hometown of Harvey, IL features Mitchell at his best in both writing and leading this “next level” worship experience. Created 4 This supplies songs that are strong and designed to impact the lives of worshipers of various backgrounds. The playlist ebbs and flows with melodies that truly exemplify why VaShawn Mitchell is created to lead the masses in an organic musical encounter that ushers in the essence of God and may even surpass the success of Triumphant. Created 4 This features several videos from the recording as well as a behind the scenes interview. -[Excerpt by George Daigle | Customer Review | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Stone is undoubtedly one the most powerful, unique and consistent voices in Neo-Soul and today’s R&B! –Rob Young | Urban Flux Media

Angie Stone, RICH GIRL

Angie Stone -][- RICH GIRL –Mp3– [Saguaro Road Rhythm, 2012] –

Angie Stone has given herself completely on this album. She explores the realities of what makes us sad,weak, embittered, strong, passionate, powerful, and alive. No matter what stage you are in your life you can relate to something in this work of art. This is truly my favorite of all her expressions. Angie…thank you for allowing the world to see how triumph can be born from disappointment; you have a positive vibe that breathes life into each day through your music. -[Callalily | Customer Review | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::


Dwele -][- GREATER THAN ONE –Mp3– [eOne Music, 2012] –

ou know what you’re going to get when you listen to a Dwele album; breezy soul reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and co, tight harmonies and intricate real instrumentation. Opening track proper “Going Leaving” (after the “Greater Than One Less Than three” intro with lovely layered harmonies) perfectly epitomizes this, a groovy mid-tempo affair with cascading sweet harmonies. “Takes22Tango” is slinky Soul with a touch of Tango, while Raheem DeVaughn guests on the groovy ballad “What You Gotta Do” with snaky-sounding bass. The up-tempo groove “What Profit” reminds me of Musiq Soulchild.

Most of the song segue into the next. The ballad “Obey” builds from synth strings, adding lilting percussion and jazzy piano along the way, different and definitely a highlight. “This Love” is a synth-driven upbeat groovy number, and continuing the party groove is the gently stomping minimal “Must Be” featuring Black Milk, L’Renee and J. Tait. -[Nse Ette | Customer Review | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Meshell Ndegeocello, Pour une âme souveraine

Meshell Ndegeocello -][- Pour une âme souveraine –Mp3– [naïve, 2012] –

After exploring Funk, Alternative Rock, and Hip Hop on previous albums, Meshell Ndegeocello grabs a bunch of friends (Sinead O’Connor and Liz Wright among them) to pay tribute to kindred spirit, the high priestess of soul Nina Simone on album number 10. She more often reinterprets, rather than remakes these classics, which is fine by me as much like Simone, she treads her own path.

The album is a laid-back Soul/Blues/Folk affair with Meshell giving a soft vocal delivery on the songs which she leads on. “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” is guitar-driven Soul with a haunting mellotron snaking in the background like gently waving drapes. “House Of The Rising Sun” features Toshi Reagon and is a spirited affair. “Feelin’ Good” is given a quivery contemplative treatment. -[Excerpt | Nse Ette Customer Review | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Larry Graham & Graham Central Station, RAISE UP

Larry Graham & Graham Central Station -][- RAISE UP –Mp3– [Razor & Tie Label, 2012] –

There are many words to be said about Larry Graham and GCS and all of them would be good. This recent collection of art and I mean this with the most sincer form of flatery . It is truely a work of art the way that he is able to continue to spread the message of positive vibes and still maintain that “Funky Driving ” heart felt groove. A prime of example of this is the cut featuring(Raphael Saadiq) a perfect mixture of groove and heart felt message personified. I also enjoyed how the CD although produced by prince does not become a prince project but keeps it’s autonomy to GCS. Another creative twist that I noticed is the Cut “Welcome to our world ” which is reminicient a pass GCS cut ” Happy to See U Again”.

I must say that if any lover of Classic Soul and funk sleeps on this CD they will regrett it for it is truly a creative work of art. A few other noticable cuts are “Throw-N-Down some Funk, Now Do U Wanta Dance. I am in the process of training for my six marthon and while running today I had to stop in the middle of a mile cut a few steps before continuing my run. Great to see Mr. Graham Has not missed a step and sounds better than ever. Also before I forget the Female vocalist on the CD is earth shattering . Don’t sleep on this CD until then I will you all good Music. -[Rhythum Child | Customer Review | Amazon]-

:::: SOURCE: Amazon.com ::::

Anthony Brown & group therAPy, SELF-TITLED

Anthony Brown & group therAPy -][- SELF-TITLED –Mp3– – [Tyscot, 2012] –

Anthony Brown & Group Therapy (Tyscot Records) may be a new group to many by name. But the group’s leader can count VaShawn Mitchell as a fan and has penned some amazing songs for other artists (Maurette Brown Clark’s “It Ain’t Over” for starters) long before the monster hit “Testimony” took to the airwaves. Anthony Brown & Group Therapy is not just another group where the leader calls out the lyrics and the background vocalists sing in response (not to take away from those who follow that template) but Brown is heard singing on many of the dynamic songs on this project. Brown’s rich tenor voice is reminiscent of Donnie McClurkin (who is also a fan) To add the impact of this project, Brown’s keen musical sensibility shines as he makes good use of the Group Therapy members by give them charge to lead and add vocal flavor to several of the songs. -[Excerpt of Amazon Customer Review by George Daigle]-

:::: SOURCE: Amazon.com ::::


The always-classy Tamia delivers powerhouse vocals once again on her latest single “Beautiful Surprise.” The video, filmed in Malibu, California, offers beauty shot after beauty shot while the singer is draped in romantic lighting as she wanders around a decadent home.

She passionately sings about being pleasantly surprised by a love who returns quicker than she planned. The love interest is portrayed by Tamia’s real-life husband, NBA player Grant Hill.

“Beautiful Surprise” is available on iTunes.

::: SOURCE: singersroom.com :::

Jonathan ButlerGrace and Mercy set for Sept 25th Release!

Jonathan Butler, Grace and Mercy

On Grace and Mercy Jonathan delivers a collection of songs that serve as a soothing musical balm in today’s troubled times. “This album really speaks about optimism, faith, belief and hope, especially in the light of what everybody has been experiencing in the last two or three years,” he says. “There’s been a lot of people losing their homes, their jobs, enduring the challenges that life brings. I’m hoping this album will bring hope to people.

A life well lived is often the best foundation for compelling art and there’s no denying Jonathan Butler has been blessed with a fascinating life. A South African native whose expansive musical gift has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields, Jonathan’s new release Grace and Mercy is filled with the soulful sounds and insightful lyrics fans have come to expect from the veteran performer.

:::: SOURCE: Jonathan Butler.com ::::

Rebecca Ferguson, HEAVEN

Rebecca Ferguson -][- HEAVEN –Mp3– [RCA Records Label, 2012] –

Those who love well-crafted songs and classic soul REJOICE! The debut album, HEAVEN, from Rebecca Ferguson, a 26-year-old from Wales with a brilliantly unique voice and top-drawer songwriting skills, wis a collection of yummy adult pop songs dipped in luscious vintage soul.

Runner-up in the 2010 British X-Factor competition, Ferguson was refreshing, classy and original in a TV genre known for contestants with more gall than talent. Ferguson advanced to the finals, but didn’t win (despite the support of high-profile supporters like Adele, who voted over 80 times for Rebecca).

Past contestants have been harshly critical of the X-Factor, not Ferguson. Though she could have benefited from greater confidence, Rebecca possesses what is rare among competitors: dignity. –Excerpt | Customer Review | Amazon

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::


The Temptations -][- THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION –Mp3– [Uni/Motown, 1998, 2012] –

This is not quite the ultimate Temptations collection, but it comes close. You could never fit all their great songs on one CD anyway, but the compilers were clearly determined to include some of their later recordings – the last three tracks on this CD. Angel doll, though recorded in 1967, was not one of their big hits – indeed, it was not even released at the time. The inclusion of these four tracks at the expense of real classics, including Beauty is only skin deep, devalues the title somewhat.

Despite the omissions, this is the best single-CD collection of Temptations music currently available and contains many familiar songs. It begins with The way you do the things you do. A big hit in America, it did not chart in Britain. I first came across the song via an excellent cover by Rita Coolidge, but the original version is impressive. Other classic sons here include My girl, Get ready, Ain’t too proud to beg, I wish it would rain, Cloud nine, I can’t get next to you, Ball of confusion, Just my imagination and Papa was a rolling stone.

Anybody seriously interested in sixties music in general and Motown in particular will enjoy the Temptations. Unless you want to go for a double-CD or a boxed set, this is the CD to choose. –Peter Durward Harris | Customer Review | Amazon

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::


Leela James -][- Loving You More?In The Spirit Of Etta James –Mp3– [Shanachie, 2012] –

Tribute records are something sorely lacking in my music collection. In particular when they are by various artists. They seemed to go against the grain of creative vision as far as I was concerned. In recent years I’ve begun to rethink this opinion. Especially when it comes to tribute albums by one artist. Leela James was always one of those people I was interested in getting into. I liked her approach to soul and funk. On the other hand something about her music left me mildly wanting. When I heard she was making a tribute album to Etta James however,this interested me very much. I was very much interested how this talented writer/singer/producer would handle this type of rootsy rhythm and blues music. From what’s here Leela was just the person to interpret Etta. –Andre S. Grindle | Customer Review | Amazon

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

I finally got around to listening to this album by Eric, it’s a real nice collection of soul music that’s probably his best to date!

Eric Benet, THE ONE

Eric Benet -][- THE ONE –Mp3– [JORDAN HOUSE, 2012] –

With one of the most beloved voices in music, GRAMMY nominated R&B icon Eric Benet will release his 6th album, aptly entitled THE ONE. Featuring the first single, Real Love, which has become a Top 5 Urban AC smash, THE ONE marks a
moment of positive transition in his life and lyrically speaks to the many new beginnings developing in his career and family including the recent marriage to Manuela Testolini and the birth of his second daughter in December of 2011. THE ONE will also be the first album released on Benet s newly formed record label Jordan House Records, in partnership with EMI.

As Benet grew up in Milwaukee in the 1970s at the time one of the most segregated parts of the US music was a huge part of his family home, the Jordan house. At the Jordan house you were guaranteed to hear singing, different instruments being played, and a musical celebration happening every time you visited. Music was truly woven into the fabric of his upbringing. He describes THE ONE as a very contemporary approach to old-school songwriting integrity and will include with Benet s signature mid-70s soul groove, a variety of instruments from strings to horns, a lullaby for his new baby girl, a confirmed duet with his first daughter India Benet, and more special guests including the unexpected Lil Wayne, who has many times been quoted in the press as a huge Benet fan. To his thousands of fans who have followed Eric Benet over the years, this album will truly be THE ONE. -[Editorial Review | Amazon]-

::: SOURCE: Amazon.com :::

Will Downing, TOMORROW

Will Downing -][- TOMORROW –Mp3– [Sophisticated Soul Records, 2012] –

Brooklyn native, Will Downing delivers the third in his amazing trilogy of soulful music appropriately titled “TOMORROW.” It’s difficult to bypass music like this, fans will indeed adore what Will is putting down on this album is just as mesmerizing as his previous recordings. Oh yeah, he vocally colorizes this collection of inviting yet uniquely seductive originals and re-voiced the classics like no other to make them his very own effortlessly!

The musicality of Downing is beyond descriptive, he’s vocally and lyrically an unsung hero in the land of living and deceased giants of soul music. I’m sure music lovers will appreciate the warmth and beauty contained in gem, Will’s vocals, style and lyrical approach to these songs are fitting for virtually any occasion. Be sure, and don’t miss out on this splendid album by Mr. Downing! —Rob Young | Urban Flux Media

Valerie Simpson, Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again

Valerie Simpson -][- Dinosaurs Are Coming Back AgainMp3– [Hopsack & Silk, 2012]-

Long awaited solo album features the last recorded performance of Nina Simone, a second duet with Roberta Flack and an instrumental version of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again–For anyone who questions what offerings they can still make, this song says: Be encouraged. I love Nick Ashford’s fairy tale-real lyrics here. We actually got the “Dinosaur” feeling once in a major record company’s office -while waiting for an appointment with a top Exec. We didn’t get the deal, but we got this song out of it. Make It Up As We Go- is the last recorded vocal of the late great Nina Simone. She consented to do this haunting duet with me in the South of France and it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough..Fans of “Stuff”, the band might recall hearing a version of this instrumental as played by the late great Richard T. I extended it adding an opening and chorus at the end as bookends. Love Never Dies- I love the quirky story here …It’s like a video you can see in your mind and it moves me personally cause the message is so true. -[Album Notes | Valerie Simpson]-

::: SOURCE: CDBaby.com :::

The content | reviews on this page is not always ours, meanwhile our goal is to reach our intended audience by posting relevant content to meet the need. Therefore, we publish these reviews with good intention by giving the utmost respect to the original author. –Rob Young | The Urban Flux

1 thought on “Jazz-Not-Jazz?”

  1. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to offer one thing back and aid others like you helped me.

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