Phil Perry – A Better Man

It is a well-known trivia fact that Phil Perry was slated to perform an outdoor lunchtime concert at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 to promote the release of his CD “Magic” (they had regular jazz and blues performances there during the warm months – I caught many shows there, including one of […]

Review: Marion Meadows – Soul Traveler

On his thirteenth studio album as a bandleader, light jazz saxophonist Marion Meadows inches closer to neo-soul with a selection of twelve original cuts featuring several guests – the disc opens with “Celebration Road,” in which he shares the spotlight with fellow genre-bending saxophonist Najee, who plays the flute on the uptempo track that has […]

Album Review: Maysa’s “A Very Maysa Christmas”

By Ernest Barteldes Former Incognito front woman Maysa (though she still collaborates with them from time to time) is clearly one of the most underrated talents of contemporary soul today. Why she is not one of the biggest names in the genre completely baffles me – she has incredible versatility and range, and this is reflected […]

Concert Review: Ana Tijoux

Central Park Summerstage New York, NY July 9, 2014   By Ernest Barteldes On her Central Park debut as part of the 15th Edition of the Latin Alternative Music Conference, the Chilean-born rapper really showed her credentials as an emerging talent in the genre by playing a solid, no-dud set backed by a solid band […]

Soul Takes the Festivals in New York’s Five Boroughs

By Ernest Barteldes As soon as the last snowflakes fall and we switch into spring, I begin counting the days for festivals like Celebrate Brooklyn and Summerstage, both of which have become a city tradition for folks in New York and beyond. After all, at these shows you have the rare opportunity to see your […]

CD Review: Rise Again

Lira By Ernest Barteldes The country that gave us Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Hugh Masekela still brings us quite a few surprises from time to time. On her US debut, South African-born Lira gives us quite a few reasons we should pay attention to her.  Starting from the retro-feeling drumbeat of   “Feel Good” and its […]

Album Review: Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid

The Floacist By Ernest Barteldes On her third solo release The Floacist continues to explore new melodies that seamlessly mix with her blend of spoken word, neo-soul and whatever else she has in mind, including Afro-beats, reggae and jazz. “Grandma” fully embraces her Caribbean heritage with words that pay homage to her the wisdom of […]

CD Review: City Heart, Southern Soul

Noel Gourdin Review by Ernest Barteldes On his sophomore release, the Boston-born singer-songwriter goes deeper into his influences with welcome results.  Though many of the tunes are geared towards more contemporary neo-soul listeners, there are various echoes from the classic era that he handles quite well. “Photograph” has a bit of Marvin Gaye vibe with […]