Barbara King-Phillips
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Barbara King-Phillips

Band Jazz Adult Contemporary


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"Sounds like Sarah Vaughn"

CD Review:

By: Edward Blanco

Barbara King is a New York native with amazing Sarah Vaughn-like vocals who makes one very impressive debut with Perfect Timing presenting jazzy interpretations of some well known pop standards along with several originals making this one of the better jazz vocal albums released this year. Making this album a promising success is the fine cast of musicians King uses to produce this gem. Included here are pianists George Colligan and Arturo O’Farrill as well as Dorsey “Rob” Robinson, flautist Dave Valentin appears as special guest and there’s trumpeter Eddie Allen and Jay Branford on reeds just to name a few.

This is one very fine recording with many highlights but I will start with the sensuous love ballad, “Overtaken” where King’s lyrics are diced with a bit of scatting and backed up by some beautiful guitar work from Romero Lubambo. King takes the Lennon/McCartney classic “Let It Be” and gives it new life with her reaching vocals. Dionne Warwick would be proud of the way King voices her signature tune “I Say A Little Prayer.” Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” gets a mild treatment here though King does reach the high notes often.

Two of the best pieces on this disc are King originals where the artist shines all over. The title tune “Perfect Timing,” though brief, has a wonderful melody and very jazzy beat that one will love. The highlight of the album has to be the Latin jazz number “You Smile” featuring Arturo O’Farrill on piano, bassist Rueben Rodriguez, Phoenix Rivera on percussions and Dave Valentin on a magical flute. The lady provides her best performance here including voicing lyrics in Spanish as she follows a nice salsa rhythm.

She ends the album with a delicious rendition of Stevie Wonder’s standard “Ribbon In The Sky” singing to Colligan’s piano and Fender Rhodes accompaniment and guest trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater’s brief phrasings. Kudos to Barbara King for she has put together a compelling session of jazz vocals that will be well received by critics and audiences alike.

- Edward Blanco /

"1st recording...could have fooled me!"

CD Review:

A first recording for Barbara King. Could have fooled me. There’s a kind of confidence, I think, that you can gain over time. And then, there’s the kind of confidence you’re born with. Ms. King sounds as if she’s been doing this forever.

The press blurb says Ms. King is, “…lighting the path for a new generation of fans by advancing the confluence of jazz and inspirational music.”

Fancy talk.

Neither Jazz nor inspirational music is worth a hoot if the music doesn’t get the toe tapping, the head nodding, or the fingers snapping. I’ll just bet the Choir Director at the church where Ms. King says she developed a “passion for singing at the age of seven” knew that a whole lot better than me.

What’s really cool (well, for me) is that several of the tracks are written by Ms. King, and yet they sounded so familiar, I could have sworn they were covers. The opening track, “Miracles,” is track with a positive message - “My miracle is on the way.” The track, “Perfect Time” seems to play off Ecclesiastes, urging patience and faith. (Perhaps that’s why the message sounds so familiar.)

The point is - if the music isn’t listenable, one doesn’t get the message in the first place. And Ms. King and her band are very, very listenable. Oh my, yes.

With some of New York’s finest musicians backing her, including Cecil Bridgewater on trumpet, John DiMartino on piano, Rodney Jones on guitar, and flautist Dave Valentin - this is a very strong debut for Ms. King.

It’s a perfect choice for the spiritual side of any jazz lover. This disc is highly recommended.



Still working on that hot first release.



“Barbara King’s dusky, Sarah Vaughan-like qualities mark her as a talent to watch” – Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times.

Barbara King, a native of Brooklyn, New York, has been revered by critics and audiences throughout her career. Barbara’s noteworthy performances of popular standards along with a vast selection of original compositions – peppered with her stylistic jazzy sounds – earned her critical acclaim across the globe. Whether captivating audiences in Greece, Japan, Dubai, Eastern Europe, Kingston, Jamaica or back home in renowned New York City at clubs such as, Birdland, B. Smith’s, The Water Club, Sweet Rhythm, Tavern on the Green, The Jazz Standard and The Lenox Lounge, Barbara’s vocal renditions have left audiences marveling at her striking vocal talents and clamoring for more!

Barbara developed her passion for singing at the age of seven where she sang in church and performed in school plays. In an effort to develop her craft, Barbara sang with the noted Vassar College Choir, her alma mater, which toured throughout the U.S. where they performed a variety of classical and popular tunes. Upon graduating from Vassar, Barbara returned to New York City and enrolled in Brooklyn Music School where she continued to study under the instruction of Roland Washington, New York-based vocal coach.

Barbara toured with The Micky Roker Trio throughout Japan, The Craig Bailey Sextet throughout Greece, performed at jazz festivals in Eastern Europe, Tokyo and Nagano, Japan. In addition, Barbara opened for Black Enterprise Magazine’s Art Exhibit in Hartford, Connecticut, Jamaica’s Annual Festival of Art Exhibit in Kingston, Jamaica; Cape Cod Music festival; The Battery Park City Sounds on the Hudson, The CD 101.9FM’s Jazz Cruise, The Noel Pointer Jazz Cruise; BET Jazz Central; Fox and Friends Weekend on the Fox News Channel and on Brooklyn Cable Access Television (BCAT).

Barbara has had studio engagements with numerous jazz and popular musicians and performed with noted jazz legends such as Rufus Reid, Kirk Whalum, Akira Tana, Onaje Alan Gumbs, with pop legend, Patti Labelle and gospel icon, Kirk Franklin. Barbara also appeared as a featured vocalist on TanaReid’s CD entitled, “Back to Front” on Evidence Records, on Hiro Takada’s CD, a noted Japanese pianist entitled, “Portrait in NYC,” on Ryo Music Records and as a guest soloist on Christian Cultural Center’s 2005 Christmas CD entitled, “A Jazzy Christmas.” Barbara also sang at the “Advent Sing,” in Vienna, Austria, at “The Worlds Sing Gospel,” in Tuscany, Italy, performed with Dino Kartsonakis, a noted pianist, at Carnegie Hall. And opened up for Smokey Robinson