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Luqman Hamza: With This Voice

Hearing this resplendent set of 13 romantic standards, you’ll wonder why 68-year-old Kansas City singer-pianist Luqman Hamza (formerly known as Larry Cummings) has gone largely unheralded in spite of a smooth-tenor vocal style that is better than those of his major inspirations, Nat King Cole, Charles Brown and Billy Eckstine.

Hamza’s luscious voice gives new meaning to classics such as “My One and Only Love,” “Never Let Me Go,” “Blue Moon,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Laura” and other American songbook treasures. Sonny Kenner (guitar), Kim Park (alto sax, flute), Tyrone Clark (bass) and Tommy Ruskin (drums) provide sensitive backing and the whole team sparkles, especially Park’s alto-sax improvisations and Kenner’s solos and fills.

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