Kevin Mahogany at the Bird
Mahogany brought his version of the Kansas City blues shouter tradition
to the Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor on October 23rd.
Mahogany is actually a very versatile singer (as was former Basie-ite
Joe Williams), and probably does not want to be pegged as a blues singer.
His repertoire ranged from blues like "Muddy Water" and "Times
Are Getting Tougher" to Miles Davis classics like "All Blues"
and "On Green Dolphin Street." On the latter he showed his
considerable scat skills in a great duet with drummer George Davidson.
Throughout the night I was impressed with Mahogany's
willingness to showcase his backup trio and his ability to listen closely
to what they were able to do. In return, pianist Terry Lowler soloed
delicately on "On Green Dolphin Street" and Ron Brooks played
the bass parts on "All Blues" with feeling and finesse behind
Mahogany's vocals. His vocals were un-amplified for a few choruses
when he walked away from the microphone. This tested my theory that
the man has a wonderful deep voice which could fill almost any room.
He passed the test with ease. As an encore he did a rousing version
of (what else?) "Kansas City."
I hope that Mahogany will be invited back to the
Bird. He is definitely worth a listen.
photograph by Lars Bjorn