Acclaimed vocalist, songwriter and long affectionately proclaimed, “Queen of Indie Soul,” Conya Doss has been featured on these pages more than once and for good reason. Every time she even hints at a new project… More
I SPY SOUL is excited to now share popular interview series, The Pulse, with our audience. The Pulse is the splendid brainchild of host and WBGO Afternoon Jazz radio personality, Keanna Faircloth who presents an outstanding array of burgeoning and acclaimed artists with a common strand of jazz, but with a mix of other musical influences. The Pulse is presented live on the WBGO Facebook page, and subsequently available on the WBGO website, but will now also be available to check out while you’re here if you miss it.
This special Valentine’s Day episode features talented husband and wife duo, vocalist April May Webb and trumpeter Randall Haywood aka Sounds of A&R or S.O.A.R. They are acclaimed, award-winning artists with several of their songs topping the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. In this episode, in addition to a exclusive live performance of the track, “They Keep Saying No” from their new release, Questions Left Unanswered, Keanna has a great conversation with the newlyweds about their success; how they craft their music; working with drummer T.S.Monk; their penchant for vintage clothing and more. Check it out below:
For more about Sounds of A&R (S.O.A.R) go to https://soundsofaandr.com
“Only he who gives up is defeated/ The defeated are those who never fail / You don’t take the opportunity to lose / You don’t get the opportunity to win.”
Accomplished rapper JSWISS passionately proclaims those words over the horn and string-driven climax of “Defeat”, the single from he and Grammy-winning, producer, composer and trumpeter Michael Leonhart.
This follow-up to their first two acclaimed singles, “BLACKOUT” and “On The Money” , “Defeat” is a hard-hitting, spirited and inspiring reminder that the true champions in life don’t run from failure, but overcome it. JSWISS and Leonhart with this track and the others have consistently crafted a trademark sound that is hip hop with a cinematic sheen that brandishes top shelf lyricism, performance and musicianship. “Defeat” is also one of three songs inspired by themes from award-winning author Paulo Coelho’s book “Manuscript Found In Accra”, all of which appear on the duos’ upcoming 5-song release, “The Alchemy EP”, which drops in January 2021.
Eloquent, affable and a true gentleman. The significance of legendary drummer, composer, bandleader, Art Taylor’s influence and contribution to so so many amazing jazz gems and the sound of the scene itself during, in particular, the 1950’s and 60’s just can not be overstated.
He masterfully kept the time for a who’s who of jazz icons and greats like Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Red Garland, Miles Davis, Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Gigi Gryce and the list really just goes, on and on and on. Even as a kid in Harlem in the area where this interview was recorded, an early band he was a part of consisted of Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham, and Jackie McLean. The mark he’d make on the music, needless to say, was inevitable. And with these artists he is on some of the most heralded recordings in the history of the music on storied labels, Bluenote, Prestige and more – Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Miles Davis’s Miles Ahead, The Amazing Bud Powell and Monk’s Town Hall Recordings to name a scant few.
The Soul Seen retrospective revisits the 2003 interview with Soul/R&B artist Kem from the segment WATCH CLOSELY that featured emerging artists to keep an eye on. This catches the popular artist as he moved from successful independent artist to making the decision to sign with legendary major Motown records and offers an insightful look at his reasons and the development of his sound.
KEM Putting the Right Elements Together
It’s a lucky thing that the prevalent mind set of the music industry to foster monotony and artlessness has not kept gifted souls from being heard. The recent rise of artists, “doing it for themselves” has brought forth a crop of talented folks furtively proving that a notable slice of the listening public pie still desires artistry and meaningful messages. Case in point, vocalist, songwriter, and musician, KEM.