The reissue of the Cotillion Records compilation Funky Christmas (Real Gone Music) gets off to a fabulously funky start with “May Christmas Bring You Happiness” by a quintet called Luther. Led by the late Luther Vandross (shortly before his disco breakthroughs with Bionic Boogie and Change, and subsequently soaring solo career), both of Luther’s tracks (including the other Vandross original “At Christmas Time”) are the main reasons to unwrap this disc. Margie Joseph’s “Christmas Gift” and “Feeling Like Christmas” are also pleasant.
Popular gay artist Tom Goss will appear at the Spotlighters Theatre on December 28 for what is being billed as “an intimate evening” with the singer/songwriter. The one-night only cabaret, which begins at 8 p.m., is a benefit for the Spotlighters. Tickets are $25.
One of the most prolific songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s, Jimmy Webb wrote songs that became standards. A number of them were massive hits for artists including The 5th Dimension, Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Donna Summer and, much later, for Linda Ronstadt, among many others. Gay singer Michael Feinstein even had a go at Webb on his album Only One Life: The Songs of Jimmy Webb. Webb himself has had a lengthy recording career, beginning after others had recorded songs of his such as “Up, Up and Away,” “Wichita Lineman,” “All I Know,” and “MacArthur Park,” to mention a few. Webb revisited a number of his most popular songs, accompanying himself on piano, on 1996’s exceptional Ten Easy Pieces disc. His latest, Still Within the Sound of My Voice (eOne) revisits some of those songs, this time as duets with a stellar cast of guest artists singing with Webb. A talented pianist and songwriter, but not known for being a great singer, Webb partners with some who are, including Carly Simon (“Easy for You to Say”), Art Garfunkel (“Shattered”), Rumer (“Still Within the Sound of My Voice”), and David Crosby and Graham Nash (“If These Walls Could Speak”).
After detours into blues (Blood, Bones & Baltimore), Latin music (Tango), and other genres, disappear fear, led by the versatile SONiA, returns with its best album in years, Broken Film (disappearfear.com). Incorporating politics and social commentary in her distinctive style, SONiA takes on family (“Farmland and The Sky,” the title cut), spirituality (“Ari Ari”), and, of course, love (the anthemic “Love Out Oud” and “L Kol L Vavcha” – which is partially sung in Hebrew). But the album’s high point is the breathtaking “The Banker,” in which SONiA deftly addresses the impact of the financial crisis with wisdom, sensitivity, and fury.
Mosaic (Jannklose.com), the third full-length disc by Jann Klose, sounds like the international gay singer/songwriter’s breakthrough album. Klose opens the disc with two songs, “Make It Better” and “Know What’s Right,” in which he sings in his most political voice, expressing his desire for global LGBT equality. Klose also has a knack for writing memorable love songs, exemplified here by “Still” and “On And On.” Lucky for listeners “Four Leaf Clover” is a perfect pop gem. Klose fiddles around with his country side on “Beautiful One,” featuring Carrie Newcomer. He closes the disc with an exquisite a cappella rendition of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren,” which also functions as a reminder that Klose can be seen in the Jeff Buckley biopic Greetings from Tim Buckley.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
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