Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
Vocalist Kevin Mahogany joins the Telarc label with the release of Pride and Joy, a collection of classics from the Motown era recast via Mahogany's rich and atmospheric jazz vocal style. Mahogany's improvisational, exploratory approach to timeless songs penned by Smokey Robinson, Holland/Dozier/Holland, Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong, Clifton Davis and other Motown legends results in a recording that's familiar and innovative at the same time.
Opening with a stripped down version of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" that puts a fresh spin on the Stevie Wonder original, Mahogany follows with ten more songs that are familiar to anyone with even the most casual knowledge of the Motown catalog: "Can't Get Next To You," "Tears of a Clown," "Reach Out I'll Be There," "My World Is Empty Without You" and more. Pride and Joy is a keeper for jazz aficionados and Motown fans alike.
Mahogany's passion for the Motown sound is far more than a one-album passing fancy. Although born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, he grew up on the music pouring out of Barry Gordy's Detroit-based hotbed of African-American songwriting and performing talent—not unlike most other color-blind American kids glued to their AM radios in the '60s and early '70s.
"Some of Motown's earlier recordings had jazz musicians recording the backing tracks for some of the greatest R&B acts," Mahogany notes. "Even though I started with jazz at an early age as an instrumentalist, I have always loved the sound of Motown music. It was as deeply instilled in my heart and soul as the jazz music that I had grown to love."
Mahogany was an accomplished clarinetist and saxophonist by the time he finished high school. He shifted his emphasis to vocals in college, and played in a number of jazz, R&B and soul groups during his post-college years in the '80s. After a handful of albums on independent labels in the early '90s, he garnered high praise from critics during a five-year run on Warner Brothers in the latter half of the decade. Newsweek called Mahogany "the standout jazz vocalist of his generation," while the Los Angeles Times called him "one of the first truly gifted male vocalists to emerge in years."
His debut on Telarc marks his return to the artistic freedom and flexibility more common to the independent label environment—the kind of setting in which Mahogany has always felt most comfortable and creative. "Combining jazz and Motown music seems natural to me," says Mahogany. "I grew up loving both styles, and I know that there are others who will love this combination also."