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Kenny Washington: Press

excerpt from the article 'A Very Good Year: Andrew Gilbert's take on the hottest jazz of the year':
"...Long revered by his musical peers for his surfeit of soul and ebullient sense of swing, Oakland-based vocalist Kenny Washington has finally released an album under his name at the age of 51. Washington scats with the harmonic daring and rhythmic command of a bebop saxophonist and interprets standards with such intelligence and emotional commitment it's like Rodgers and Hart wrote "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" with him in mind."

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excerpt from the article 'Kenny Washington at The Jazz Bakery':
"...In Culver City at the internationally renown Jazz Bakery, a non-profit haven for “A” list jazz musicians and jazz enthusiasts that appreciate a top-notch listening venue, is where jazz vocalist virtuoso Kenny Washington performed to a lively audience on Wednesday night. For those who have never heard his voice, he is a must-hear performance. From Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder, Washington has captured them all and then some adding his own unique dynamic to the mix. From his sultry, soul-filled tenor tones to a falsetto that challenges even Prince’s vocal range to his percolating scat that emerges as he transforms his entire being into the expansive sounds he creates, Washington has truly mastered his craft."

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excerpt from the article 'An Oversize Talent':
"...Kenny Washington killed in New York City. The supremely soulful Oakland-based jazz vocalist played a weeklong run last February at Jazz at Lincoln Center's prestigious Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola with vibraphonist Joe Locke's all-star band. The show featured the music of Henry Mancini, and Washington walked away with the audience in his pocket.

"He put himself into these very complex instrumental arrangements, and he fit into them hand in glove," says Locke, arguably the most brilliant vibraphonist of his generation. "In every case, he sang them in the original key. That's how flexible he is. We had fourteen sold-out shows at Dizzy's, and the audiences fell in love with him."

The thing is, Washington slays 'em wherever he performs. Standing not quite five-foot-two, he's an oversize talent who can scat with the harmonic daring and rhythmic command of a bebop saxophonist, croon with the simmering soul of Donny Hathaway, and interpret standards with such intelligence and emotional commitment it's like Rodgers and Hart wrote "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" with him in mind."

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excerpt from the article 'Mallets of Fire':
"...Mr. Locke's current show at Dizzy's, which features his longtime piano collaborator, Geoffrey Keezer, and the drummer Clarence Penn, also uses the Mancini songbook as a launching point. But although the leader includes several of the 1994 arrangements, he has made an important addition to the lineup: the West Coast-based vocalist Kenny Washington. At the early show on Tuesday, Mr. Washington sang three excellent ballads, starting with the overheard but still beautiful "Moon River" and the neglected but still beautiful "Moment to Moment." He also scatted on two numbers, including the opener "The Pink Panther," which took Mancini's famous comedy-cartoon theme back to its roots as a minor blues. Mr. Washington is an excellent high baritone in roughly the same orbit as Grady Tate and Jimmy Scott. But the charts at Dizzy's (as on the recent album "Still Dancin'," which features the singer alongside saxophonist Michael O'Neill and Mr. Locke) spotlight the instrumental quality of his voice rather than his ability to put across a lyric or tell a story. When he intoned "My huckleberry friend," everyone focused on the chromatic descending notes rather than on the meaning of the words."

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excerpt from the article 'Jazz Master Doesn't Care to Sing His Own Praises':
"...Onstage, Kenny Washington is the Superman of the Bay Area jazz scene, a vocalist with an exuberantly supple tenor that glides effortlessly into the stratosphere. Capable of astounding improvisational flights, he can also croon like a '70s soul star (think Donny Hathaway or Al Green), with an emotional intensity that's bracing."

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