If this isn’t it, it will have to do until the real thing comes along. That’s the lyric but it doesn’t hold here. Luqman Hamza is the real thing. If he isn’t“the last of the balladeers”as he bills himself, he’s one of the treasured few remaining who“went to school on”Nat King Cole, Charles Brown and Billy Eckstine as a teen. But Luqman, formerly known as Larry Cummings, was never a copyist. He wrapped his clear tenor voice in a suave and romantic persona all his own (set off by his movements on the ivories). He forged his own path as a singer of love songs. Fifty years later, he is still miraculously fresh and at the top of his powers, living in his native Kansas City, and very much in love.
Sit with Luqman Hamza for a few minutes and he’ll share with you his intriguing world of jazz ballads and love songs. The music of his world revealed to him by osmosis living in Kansas City during its musical heyday. Luqman grew up in the midst of Kansas City’s 18th and Vine jazz night club district, so it’s no wonder young Luqman watched, and listened to many local to national music luminaries.
* NativeDSD makes this recording available for the first time as a DSD Download to a wider audience, outside the US and Canada.
* NativeDSD exclusively offers this recording as DSD 128 and DSD 256 Downloads (see Tech Specs for more info).
Total time: 00:57:58
|Original Recording Format|
|Analog Recording Equipment||
Studer A-80 2 track
DSD 128 and DSD 256 Download Files Created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab, Marshfield, MA
Llomo 919A-19, Neumann M-149, U-47, TLM-70, KM-84, AKG "The Tube", RCA 44, Shure KSM 32, Shure SM 57
We are pleased to announce the availability of Groove Note releases in DSD 128 and DSD 256, in addition to the original DSD 64 releases. These higher bit rate DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases are all pure DSD created by NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield.
They are not up samplings, for there are no PCM or DXD conversions involved in their production. They are re-modulations of the original DSD 64 encoding modulation that produced the DSD 64 releases. The sonic advantage to these new Stereo and Multichannel DSD 128 and DSD 256 releases, as with all higher DSD bit rate releases, is the wider frequency passband prior to the onset of modulation noise.This results in the listener’s DAC using gentler and more phase linear filters for playback of the music.
Michael C. Ross
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
Airborne Audio Productions, Kansas City, Mo.
|Release Date||June 6, 2018|
While I have the floor, I wanted to mention that I have finally been able to hear the Groove Note release of Luqman Hamza — With This Voice, which was released some time ago. This is an absolutely stunning recording of a phenomenal, unique jazz balladeer. Run, don’t walk, to wherever you can buy this recording. It’s an instant classic that has my highest recommendation.
Hearing this resplendent set of 13 romantic standards, you’ll wonder why 68-year-old Kansas City singer-pianist Luqman Hamza (formerly known as Larry Cummings) has gone largely unheralded in spite of a smooth-tenor vocal style that is better than those of his major inspirations, Nat King Cole, Charles Brown and Billy Eckstine.
Hamza’s luscious voice gives new meaning to classics such as “My One and Only Love,” “Never Let Me Go,” “Blue Moon,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Laura” and other American songbook treasures. Sonny Kenner (guitar), Kim Park (alto sax, flute), Tyrone Clark (bass) and Tommy Ruskin (drums) provide sensitive backing and the whole team sparkles, especially Park’s alto-sax improvisations and Kenner’s solos and fills.
Hamza’s career began in the mid-1940s with The Five Aces, a vocal harmony group he formed with his buddies, before he went left to lead and record with his trio in the 1950s. He relocated in the late ’50s to Chicago and made several recordings with Chess Records’ jazz division, Argo. Hamza returned in 1971 to K.C. where he’s worked steadily until he reemerged in the 1990s through a series of high-profile engagements.
Hamza’s deserving of widest exposure. He’s a veteran whose perfect pitch, passionate delivery, precise phrasing, warbling vibrato and sophisticated sense of swing make this a pleasurable album you’ll want to play over and over.
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