Gospel Jazz

Katherine Burton – The Lord is On My Side

Katherine Burton The Lord is On My Side New Dawn Music (2014) www.KatherineBurton.com By Bob Marovich The violin has had a dalliance with gospel music throughout the genre’s history, although more so as of late, due to the cross-pollination of musical styles in the inspirational/gospel category. Brooke “Viosocalist” Alford and Kersten Stevens are two musicians who have recorded gospel jazz projects recently with violin as the main instrument. Katherine Burton is another. A graduate of Temple University College of Music and instrumentalist at a variety of gospel conventions, including the Gospel Workshop of America, Burton rosins up the bow to ...

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Reflections – Ryan D. Rutley, B.A.

Ryan D. Rutley, B.A. Reflections Psalms Group (2014) www.cdbaby.com/Artist/RyanDRutleyBA By Bob Marovich Ryan Rutley’s Reflections is an album of mostly instrumental smooth jazz, or call it inspirational jazz, if you prefer. Rutley’s band consists of Charles “Chuck” Clark on drums, brother Darick on bass, Darryl Bebee on saxophone, and Levi Baker also on drums. Ryan Rutley wrote the compositions, lends lead vocals on “Forgiven,” and produced the album. Brother Darick’s handsome vocal and Bebee’s effervescent sax solo on “Your Grace is Amazing” make the selection the high point of the album. The song riffs on the lyric of “Amazing Grace,” ...

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Noreen Crayton – Divine Radiance

Noreen Crayton Divine Radiance Angel Star Music (release date: January 2015) www.noreencrayton.com By Bob Marovich Divine Radiance is the third sacred music album from New York-native Noreen Crayton. While her career includes significant musical stage work in the U.S. and overseas, Crayton has gospel roots and sings with the praise and worship team at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem. Crayton nearly plays all the bases on Divine Radiance—from writer and arranger to performer and executive producer. She does employ a handful of musicians to assist her on some tracks. Musically, the album offers a sample of everything from an ...

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“Thicker Than Water” Season Two Opens with More Life than Lifestyle

“Thicker than Water” Season Two begins Sunday, January 4, 2015, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT Bravo Media www.nbcunv.com/bravo By Bob Marovich If last season’s premiere of the Tankard Family’s reality television show, “Thicker Than Water,” was about lifestyle, the opener of the second season is about life. The opening episode, to air this evening, opens with the wealthy extended family of gospel jazz artist Ben Tankard preparing for daughter Cyrene’s high school graduation party at the self-proclaimed Tankard Palace in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (although I think I heard son Benji refer to it, with tongue in cheek, as “Bentown”). Several Tankard children rue, ...

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Celebrating the DuBose Family on Occasion of Father’s 75th Birthday

On the 75th birthday of Jonathan DuBose Sr., member of Bridgeport, Connecticut quartet the Sensational Starlights, the Journal of Gospel Music is pleased to repost its 2011 interview (below) with another musical member of the DuBose Family, Jonathan Jr. Before we get into the interview, here are some links to see and hear more about the DuBose Family: Jonathan DuBose Sr. 75th Birthday weekend: https://new.livestream.com/StreamYourDreamLIVE/75thBirthdayJonathanDuBoseSr DuBose Daughters Debut with Father and Sons: https://new.livestream.com/StreamYourDreamLIVE/events/3361165/images/63830942 70 and Beyond Video & Audio Blog: http://aeo.podbean.com *** By Bob Marovich Scan the liner notes of a gospel CD and chances are you will see the ...

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Jay Bratten – Hymns My Way

Jay Bratten Hymns My Way Jay Bratten 2014 www.cdbaby.com/cd/jaybratten By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog On Hymns My Way, bassist Jay Bratten, his fellow musicians, and a team of guest vocalists offer an hour of instrumental and vocal rearrangements of well-known hymns and gospels that represent the foundation of church music.  The album chugs along from one track to the next, alternating between smooth jazz, new age, easy listening, fusion, and contemporary gospel.  The blend works despite the variation in styles. “Leanin’,” known also as “What a Fellowship,” is a pick-me-upper with an Earth Wind & Fire meets ...

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Elain Thomas – Songs in the Key of Jazz

Elain Thomas Songs in the Key of Jazz (2013) www.reverbnation.com/elainthomas By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Despite the well-worn argument about “devil’s music” vs. “God’s music,” gospel and jazz and blues—and now rock, soul, R&B and pop—are intertwined, fruits from the same musical tree.  Elain Thomas’ self-produced Songs in the Key of Jazz employs a smooth jazz patina, and a dab of small combo intimacy, to express inspirational messages through this popular medium. Thomas’s vocals are breezy, light, relaxed.  Sometimes she likes to leap around the stave, hitting notes with staccato force like a hammer to a xylophone, as ...

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“I Come To You” – Silletthia Hill

“I Come To You” Silletthia Hill Some Mystique Music (2014) www.somemystiquemusic.com Backed by a robust choir, Atlanta’s Silletthia Hill weaves compelling bluesy melismatic runs over a gently rolling melody punctuated by a warbling organ.   “I Come To You,” written by Brian Cosby, is a pledge of complete and total service to the Lord because of His grace and mercy.  It builds from quiescence to majestic exuberance.  The choir is extraordinary. Hill honed her skills singing background for Vanessa Bell Armstrong and James Bignon, and in the gospel group Inspiration, with her sisters Florence Smith, Anita Hill, and Kutania Ingram. ...

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