Jazz FM Album of the Week

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Wednesday May 26, 2021

From Jazz FM

Jazz FM’s Album of the Week
By: Alastair Steel

Michael is a gifted singer and arranger who is only the third vocalist ever accepted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (now the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz) in its 20-year history. Michael moves with ease between interpreting classics with a small group or big band, to creating experimental and improvisational solo compositions that can have as many as 250 looped and layered vocal lead and choral harmony parts. Michael has toured internationally with Herbie Hancock and he has been the featured vocalist on releases from Kneebody, Scary Pockets, and Amber Navran.

Michael is similarly skilled at merging aspects of different musical genres or ignoring them when he chooses. ‘I used to be pretty rigid when it came to genres. I was, like, ‘Jazz and R&B are mutually exclusive, and you must approach them like two entirely different things.’ But I learned that things that seem like they are entirely unrelated usually do have a common thread. Today, whether I’m singing my own music or other people’s, I know that the only real common thread I care about is truth and authenticity.’

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