Archives: At WSJ on the new recordings by Freda Payne and Kellylee Evans

KellyleeThe story is here,

This was a fun piece to write as neither of these records are ones that I would been likely to listen closely to unless I was searching for story prospects.  When I discovered that two contrasting recordings by jazz vocalists were releasing on the same day, I plopped them into heavy rotation and began to parse.

What I think of the Payne recording is pretty well explained in the prose.  The Evans recording as is often the case with the second of the two recordings I’m packaging got the short shrift, not by much, but there was a point that deserved expansion but I lacked the space.

To me, “I Remember When” succeeds not so much because it incorporates so many hip hop influences without sounding stilted but rather because it is about a love and enjoyment of hip hop.  I name check J Dilla in the review without explaining much about why he’s there, and my editors let me get away with it.  Dilla’s importance to this disc is deeper than a lick here or lick there that remind me of his classic Donuts (actually I was reminded of his stellar remixes of De La Soul’s Stakes is High).  Instead, my read of Donuts is that it’s about loving music and explaining the terms.  “I Remember When,” accounts for a similar love in a distant genre effectively.  To me, that’s the big success of this recording.

Had it come out in mid September rather than mid July, it would have warranted pairing with Jason Moran’s All Rise, which is about loving Fats Waller on Moran’s terms.




About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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