Tag: soul

Multifaceted Mvula experiences a swift rise

Boston Globe, May 16, 2013 Laura Mvula is only just catching up to what she’s done. Twelve months ago the 26-year-old singer was basically unknown, except in a few corners of the Birmingham, England, music world: the gospel a cappella group with whom she first performed, the conservatory where she studied composition, and, if you […]

Book review: “I Would Die 4 U,” by Touré

Boston Globe, March 21, 2013 “A woman who was in a relationship with Prince years ago told me that when he gave women baths he took total control.” This nugget exemplifies what’s engaging about “I Would Die 4 U,” Touré’s study of the protean pop star’s meaning and appeal. It’s gossipy and a little prurient; […]

Book review: “98% Funky Stuff” by Maceo Parker

Boston Globe, February 28, 2013 By his own account, 1974 was a good year for Maceo Parker. The saxophonist was riding high in his third stint with James Brown as a star soloist and the band’s MC, and also as leader of his own side projects, a hard-won privilege in Brown’s regime. He was earning […]

A singer at the busy crossroads of soul and jazz

Boston Globe, January 24, 2013 The singer José James grew up in Minneapolis and studied jazz in New York, but he’s made his career mostly out of the American mainstream eye: recording for overseas and indie labels, living a few years in London, working with recherché producers like Gilles Peterson and Flying Lotus. His recordings, […]

Nona Hendryx balances soul, conscience

Boston Globe, July 8, 2012 NEW YORK— Let’s say you formed your first band as a Trenton, N.J., teen in the ’50s. You helped invent funk in a trio, LaBelle, that found cult status in the ’70s. You pioneered sci-fi themes before George Clinton. Later, you forged ahead as a solo artist and in collaborations […]

For singer-songwriter Morley, it’s all about connections

Boston Globe, May 11, 2012 NEW YORK — There are lots of birds in the lyrics of Morley, the singer-songwriter who’s found an original place for herself at the intersection of the jazz, folk, funk, and world-music scenes here, and who flits between these worlds with the grace and ease of the winged creatures that […]

No masking his minimalist approach

Boston Globe, March 30, 2012 It’s never a bad idea to strip the clutter away. Valid from home upkeep to personal relations, the principle holds equally true in pop – particularly electronic music, where layers of effects and flurries of adornments threaten dissipating the signal into noise. This has been an issue of late, as […]