It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Motown Swing
Michael K. Willis | San Diego, CA | 10/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kevin Mahogany's rich voice brings new colors to jazz interpretations of Motown classics (and one post-Motown Michael Jackson hit) on this engaging CD.He opens the disc with a jaunty acapella reading of Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" backed by four other fine singers (the same lineup does an equally enjoyable version of the Four Tops' "Reach Out, I'll Be There" later on.)He comes out swinging and scatting on the title song (which marred only by a somewhat discordant trumpet solo) and then finds a sweet groove for his version of the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You".Things slow down for a straightforward reading of Gladys Knight and the Pips' immortal "Neither One of Us". And with just Mahogany's vocal and a guitar, Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" is effectively slowed down to a soulful ballad.The Supremes' "My World is Empty Without You" is also slowed down to a languid, soothing, affecting tempo with Mahogany backed only by bass and percussion.A dip into the Jackson songbook comes up with a sweet, spritely take on the Jackson 5's hit "Never Can Say Goodbye" and a lovely version of Michael's "She's Out of My Life" (ably colored with warm, soaring, and shimmering flugelhorn lines by Jon Faddis.)"The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" swings with cool bass lines by Melissa Slocum and tasteful solos by Dave Stryker (guitar) and James Weidman (piano). The disc concludes with a stately version of the Temptations' classic "Just My Imagination" featuring only Mahogany's effectively subdued vocal and Weidman's sterling piano playing.This is a great disc for fans of good singing, cool jazz, or reinterpreted Motown classics(or any combination thereof.)"
Rebecca | Redlands, CA United States | 08/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely LOVE Kevin Mahogany--he is an amazing musician and one of my favorite singers. This c.d. is a little different from the others I've heard, and when I first got it I was surprised at the songs on it--a lot of oldies...but...he has certainly made them his own. I could have never imagined these arrangements, and they give new meaning to all of these songs. I loved it."