Soccer Mommy’s Solid Songwriting on Display @ Mr. Smalls

One of the first qualities that stand out about seeing Soccer Mommy (Sophie Allison) play live is her sweet and genuine nature. What stands out next from the 22 year old from Nashville  is her exceptional talent and the energy the tight band brings, who started backing her for her latest album Clean (2018). Allison … Continue reading Soccer Mommy’s Solid Songwriting on Display @ Mr. Smalls

Windborne + Pittsburgh’s Symphony play Rolling Stones music in a satisfying show

I did not know quite what to expect when I went to see the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Windborne Music play the music of the Rolling Stones at Heinz Hall on July 13, having never heard classic rock accompanied by a symphony. Windborne is a group that specializes in orchestral arrangements and covers of … Continue reading Windborne + Pittsburgh’s Symphony play Rolling Stones music in a satisfying show

Q+A with Stanley Clarke after Pittsburgh Jazz Festival

Stanley Clarke is a 4-time Grammy winner largely known for his pioneering work in jazz fusion with Chick Corea and their Return to Forever band. As a leader, Clarke is unique in having songs dominated by bass licks. I caught up with Clarke after he played the last show of the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, … Continue reading Q+A with Stanley Clarke after Pittsburgh Jazz Festival

Makaya McCraven proves electric live performance, kicks off Pittsburgh Jazz Fest

Makaya McCraven is a highly abnormal bandleader. First off, he’s a drummer, but calls himself a “beat scientist”, and his studio albums largely contain recordings of many different live gigs spliced together to create revolutionary, fresh compositions. To see McCraven live, is, quite simply a treat. On Thursday, June 20, McCraven kicked off the Pittsburgh … Continue reading Makaya McCraven proves electric live performance, kicks off Pittsburgh Jazz Fest

Christian Sands talks Erroll Garner, Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, and his newest album

At 30 Christian Sands has played prominently with Christian McBride, Bobby Sanabria, and Gregory Porter, has created a handful of impressive EP's, two full albums, including last years Facing Dragons, and he is working on a third, to be released some time next year. Sands was known as a child piano protege, and as a leader … Continue reading Christian Sands talks Erroll Garner, Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, and his newest album

Q+A with North Carolina Rapper Mallz –

We talk his latest EP, Spike Lee, and the future of rap Jack Austin (JA): When did you first begin rapping? Mallz: Oh man, I started way back when I was 10 years old, it was just for fun and making parodies of songs and stuff. I just kept doing it throughout the years. But … Continue reading Q+A with North Carolina Rapper Mallz –

Africa Speaks shows Santana still has some tricks up his sleeve

On Santana’s 25th album, Africa Speaks (2019), Santana builds on the momentum from 2016’s Santana IV that reunited the classic 1969 Woodstock lineup that recorded the band’s finest material. Like Santana IV, Carlos shows he still has some tricks up his sleeve, and can produce creative fresh music. The album is never able to match … Continue reading Africa Speaks shows Santana still has some tricks up his sleeve