Kinsman Dazz - The One (2009)

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    As the lead guitarist of The Dazz Band, Mike Calhoun knew how to throw down plenty of funk licks to keep all those happy feet moving and grooving on the Soul Train line and during their energetic concerts.  Yet there are also plenty of other sides to the founder of the popular R&B band with a hit parade during the seventies and eighties that brought us "Let It Whip" & "Joystick."   In fact, much of Calhoun's influences are rooted in progressive rock guitarists like Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix.  When he finished his tenure with The Dazz Band, he blended his rock and funk skills with other avenues of music by playing reggae with the band Identity, touring with bluesman Travis Haddix, and as a studio musician backing several hip-hop artists emanating from him hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. 

    Calhoun finally launched his solo recording journey with In Blue in 1997 (under the name of Mike Calzone) that successfully demonstrates his versatility beyond the D

    As the lead guitarist of The Dazz Band, Mike Calhoun knew how to throw down plenty of funk licks to keep all those happy feet moving and grooving on the Soul Train line and during their energetic concerts.  Yet there are also plenty of other sides to the founder of the popular R&B band with a hit parade during the seventies and eighties that brought us "Let It Whip" & "Joystick."   In fact, much of Calhoun's influences are rooted in progressive rock guitarists like Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix.  When he finished his tenure with The Dazz Band, he blended his rock and funk skills with other avenues of music by playing reggae with the band Identity, touring with bluesman Travis Haddix, and as a studio musician backing several hip-hop artists emanating from him hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. 

    Calhoun finally launched his solo recording journey with In Blue in 1997 (under the name of Mike Calzone) that successfully demonstrates his versatility beyond the Dazz party funk.  For his latest release The One, Calhoun sticks with the multi-genre format of In Blue but with an emphasis on inspirational and worship themes.  

    Overall, The One has more pros than cons.  Calhoun's guitar skills are sharp and the supporting cast of vocalists and rappers are commendable no matter what the musical taste.  However, the mixed genres theory causes a lack of cohesion in a couple of spots, and sometimes the production gets mired in electronic vocal masking and paper thin instrumentation.   Summing up Calhoun's solo era so far, including The One, his musicianship expertise should keep him in the post Dazz Band game. 

    Notable Tracks:  Highly Favored, the title track, Ghetto Preacher, Destiny, Passion, Trapped, Cold World

    Vocals:  2.5 stars
    Lyrics:  2.5 stars
    Music:  2.5 stars
    Production:  2.0 stars
    SoulTracks Call:  Recommended

    By Peggy Oliver

                      

     
    Choice Cut - Jennifer Hartswick - "For You"