Zanya Laurence – Soul Theory

Review:-

Commencing with This Is My Life which is a great opener in that it is easy, accessible, comfortable and leads you to want to hear more and to see how this builds. And there is no disappointment, the tracks come thick and fast, are all different in some respects taking from soul and jazz, new and old.

And it soon becomes clear that whilst there is no full on, smack you in the face, monster track this album is more than competent, the level of consistency is high.

Down & Out is one of the top tracks for me it is punchier, and the vocals are strong and more stretched within Zanya’s zone. You feel that she knows her voice, where it fits, the style it fits and all that makes the album thoroughly listenable from start to finish.

A long road is mellow and acoustic with a feelgood touch, Rhythm is moodier and sultry and featuring also Smoke Dawg. A matter of time and the excellent Sunday continue with those sultry tones and qualities.

A very good and consistent album


Links:-
http://www.zanyamusic.com/
Click on album cover for samples and to purchase:-
Soul Theory
Info:-
Zanya’s sweet, yet moving sound showcases her early influences of urban R&B, and jazzy Soul. Born in Southern California and raised in New Mexico, Zanya began performing at the age of six. From dance to choir, she was clearly a natural. Before honing her songwriting and performance skills, her musical evolution encompassed learning to play the classical guitar at her fathers knee. Influenced and inspired by genres such as R&B, Hip-Hop, Funk, Blues and Jazz, Zanya has incorporated her creative writing and raw emotion into the lyrics found on her independent debut, “Soul Theory”, recorded at her privately owned studio, “Soul Spot Music”.

She’s had 2 songs nominated for recognition in the New Mexico Music Awards in 2004 and 2 more that were nominated in the Rhythm and Blues category for 2007. She now ranks 7 on trakheadz.com worldwide independent artist top 15 list. She stays true to her art and to making music that moves others in a rare way.

Zanya was always involved in music growing up, whether it was playing in band or singing in regional talent competitions, but it wasn’t until 1997 that she was introduced to her first studio experience. It was at that point that she realized she had found her niche. With years of struggle and desire, came the sweet proof of an aspiring artist growing toward her prime. Feeling trapped, she knew she had to make a move. It was either New York or California. She found MI, sent her application with her recording and was accepted that very week. So she packed her car and drove off to the place “where dreams come true”, but little did she know that LA would be so cluttered with uninspired hopeful’s that she might very well get lost in the shuffle.

Nevertheless, she soldiered on emotionally and financially, and recently graduated from the Vocal Institute of Technology at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California with extensive training in theory, performance and music business, while also studying the art and roots of Jazz and Blues. Selected by A&R, she came in first place out of 50 of MI’s finest singer/songwriters in the Artist Development Program, earning the respect of her musical peers and instructors alike. She performed the Hollywood area regularly with The Zanya Laurence Band and is currently back in the studio, creating the soulful grooves you love to vibe to.

Although she has been compared to several established artists, her unique style can be heard through her passionate expression, phrasing, and thoughtful delivery. At the end of the day, Zanya’s sound is truly one of a kind…

Kendra Ross – New Voice

Review:-
One of the top independent soul albums of last year, and I was previewing tracks from here at a very early stage probably in teh first half of last year on my Solar slots. And I am still playing the album regularly today.

The album has the enduring quality that each time you listen to it a different track stands out. Right now for me it’s the mellow and wonderful I’m So Okay with some lovely keys by Chris Rob.

I have met Kendra several times now and consider her a friend as are many of the people connected with this album like Chris Rob, Skoota Warner and the producer Christian Ver Halen amongst others. That said take my word for it – it is good!

The musicianship is real, the production tight, the material solid and the performance excellent, whether its the funky Real Deal or the wonderful Send Somebody to love or the ability to gain asistance from Talib Kweli or Eric Roberson.

Top notch Independent Real Soul Music

Links:-
www.kendraross.com
To purchase hear samples click album cover
New Voice
Info:-
Kendra Ross is a truly gifted singer and performer. With her beautifully smooth voice and impressive songwriting talent, she is an artist in high demand. In her short career she has already worked with celebrated artists such as Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Omar, Faith Evans, and many more. She has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show and BET’s 106th and Park and has been featured in O magazine.

Kendra is now celebrating the release of her debut album titled New Voice. The long-awaited project, co-produced with longtime collaborator/music director Christian Ver Halen, is comprised of all original compositions. Many of the best touring and session musicians on the music scene today are featured on the album, including Teodross Avery (Amy Winehouse), Maurice Brown (Ramsey Lewis), Lonnie Plaxico (Cassandra Wilson), Chris Rob (John Legend), Daniel Sadownick (Matisyahu), and Skoota Warner (Santana). The album also features performances by Talib Kweli, Eric Roberson, and more.

Critically-acclaimed hip hop recording artist Talib Kweli wrote of the talented singer/songwriter in the liner notes of his Gold-selling album Quality (on which she wrote and performed): “Kendra’s talented, beautiful, and one of a kind.” Time Out New York has hailed Kendra as “an underground soul singer with a mellifluously fluid voice” and BBC’s Radio 1Xtra declared her to be “…the divine Kendra Ross.”

Fully aware of the iconic legacy associated with her last name by a triple threat performer whom she has admired since childhood, Kendra is set to garner her own respect and attention. Get ready to be introduced to the new Ms. Ross.

Ann Nesby – This is Love

Review –
Still catching up on last years album’s! This one has featured regularly in my DJ spots playing out and on the radio, hence the delay in getting something down in writing. Ann possesses one of the most instantly recognised and powerful voices in the Soul World and none more so than on this album. She also has a presence that commands respect amongst her peers resulting in tangible emotion.

I probably have played I can’t explain it more than most as it is a dancefloor essential but personally I prefer the slightly more mellow This could be love. I apologise is also near to being the best track and that is even slower still!

10 tracks in the old days would have seemed sufficient but nowadays it doesn’t seem much, but it is all quality making it an essential purchase.

Song Title Time Price
Listen 1. I Can’t Explain It 4:36 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 2. I Apologize 5:01 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 3. This Could Be Love 4:03 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 4. Special Occasion 3:40 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 5. Step 3:41 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 6. Thank God 4:51 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 7. Tables Turn 4:03 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 8. Never Forget You Remembered 3:42 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 9. Its So Easy Lovin’ U 6:33 $0.99 Buy Track
Listen 10. See U Cry 4:05 $0.99 Buy Track

Links –
www.annnesby.com
www.shanachie.com
Info:-

ANN NESBY

ANN NESBY is the Grammy-winning original lead singer for the successful Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis-produced contemporary gospel group Sounds of Blackness. Ann went solo in 1996 and is a 2005 Stella Award nominee for her vocal performance on the latest Sounds Of Blackness recording. She appeared in a feature role in the film “The Fighting Temptations.” IN THE SPIRIT is Ann’s first full-on gospel album. It includes a sublime version of Stevie Wonder’s “Heaven Is 10 Zillion Lightyears Away” and a powerful rendition of Bill Wither’s “Grandma’s Hands.”

G John Martin – Black Ice

Review:-
Big thanks for Mike Ward for getting me on to this one, some months ago now. However I have been playing this on my radio slots and elsewhere but now have a minute to get something down here.

Several top tracks, one of which If you only knew featured as one of my top tracks of 2007. Instant, harmonic, R’n’B vibe but nonetheless still eminantly soulful.

I kinda get bugged by perceptions that nu soul has to be of the same styles as old soul, when soul, to me at least is organic, and must represent what is actually happening now. This is the kind of album, maybe not all the way through, but certainly the top 4 or so tracks, that i am really feeling right now

The opener Baby Girl sets the format strongly into strong vocalled new mellow R’n’B, a track that I am coming back to more than I did at the outset.

Black Ice, the title track, and sort of tag line, not to keen on personally, catchy though but there’s a sort of Bee Gees hook that puts me off! Hey Pretty Girl has some Latin tinges.

Something Special is a pleading relationship ballad. Tick…Tick…Tock is another storytelling R’n’B cut that ranks among the best tracks. V.I.P. is maybe a bit more formulaic, dancehall kind of groove but catchy and OK.

Quiet Time is a fine slow slow ballad. In fact as we get to the back end of the album we firmly into slow jam territory Beg And Plead, and the family orientated, (children perspective) From The Heart and (partner orientated) In Love Again and There’s No ‘I’ In We.

Links:-
http://gjohnmartin.com/
Purchase and hear snippets click album cover:-
Blackice

Info: –
G John Martin, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA, is without doubt one of America’s most talented vocalists. He is an artist who personifies art. His music as well as his being creates unified melodies manifested with balance, life and wisdom. At age seven, G John Martin discovered the Bass Guitar and like a dove from the sky the vision of his life’s destiny was born. By age twelve he found an interest in creating and producing songs of his own, he formed a local band, taught himself several other instruments and studied further the development of his unique sound. Not only did he manage to play the drums, bass and guitar, he realized his voice. Soon it would be clear his personal testimony and the beginning of his musical career. His professional journey began at age eleven during a visit to Hollywood. He quickly caught the ear of performer James Mitchell of the “Detroit Emeralds”. Offering him a role in the development of musical pieces for several projects including his first tour. With his encouragement he quickly moved to study music and began what would become a long history of music production, Groups to his name, 7 mile under the Sony label, it wasn’t long before he was afforded many opportunities to master his craft. Within the next ten years, G John Martin felt the pressures and practices of the music business overshadowed his passion of music. Deciding he would no longer work under the influences of corporate ideals and demands, he chose to quiet himself, find spiritual solace and honor his soul. This led him to Japan, a culture based on divination, deriving from a culture of people that was made of order. Black Ice would embark on what is now his dream come true of owning his own company JP Entertainment & Nitram Records.

Glynis says: “My life is music. I was a singer when I was born and remain a singer today.” His musical influences include Donny Hathaway, Luther Vandross, George Benson, Maurice White and Stevie Wonder. Glynis’ first tour as a bassist and background vocalist was at the age of 11 with the Soul/R&B Group “DETROIT EMERALDS” also having toured throughout the world with the likes of EARL KLUGH/GEORGE BENSON, AFTER 7, CLARK SISTERS, UNV of “THE MADONNA GIRLIE TOUR” and Japan’s Speed, Anri, YUKI KOYANAGI and KEN HIRAI, just to name a few. His amazing stage presence is with a love for his music that is best described as a total addiction.

Welcome to the world of G John Martin, whose wonderful style compliments a voice which cuts through the air like a cold knife then melts it’s way into your heart like warm butter. Uh Ohhh!…WATCH OUT LADIES!!!!!