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Kirk Whalum: The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV

Kirk Whalum’s commitment is beyond question. He’s an ordained minister who puts in long, righteous hours as a volunteer at Manna House, an agency in Memphis that serves the homeless. And although his smooth-jazz aesthetic tends toward the less-than-challenging, he’s also a dedicated musician-even at his most florid and pop-sweetened (e.g., his famous sax break … Read More “Kirk Whalum: The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV”

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Kirk Whalum: Romance Language

Kirk Whalum stepping into the Coltrane role to remake John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman is rather like getting Norman Rockwell to reinterpret van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The results are undeniably pretty but rather pointless. To fill the Hartman half of the equation, Whalum has chosen his kid brother Kevin. Hartman, though never the most adventurous … Read More “Kirk Whalum: Romance Language”

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Kirk Whalum: The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter III

Religion isn’t just a part of Kirk Whalum’s life, it is his life. That’s what makes the third installment in Whalum’s fusion of gospel and jazz music such a true vision. You feel the power of Whalum’s spirit as you imagine him, eyes closed, playing his sax during a live recording in 2007 at the … Read More “Kirk Whalum: The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter III”

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