Buford Powers
Gig Seeker Pro

Buford Powers

Band Jazz Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Buford Powers-Too Good To Be True"

If you think of vocal jazz as a musical genre you'll certainly come up with numerous female jazz singers like Carmen Lundy, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Abbey Lincoln, Ledisi or Claudette Stone but it's hard to come up with the same number of male jazz vocalists.
So it's a very pleasant surprise to hear a singer like Buford Powers with his deep and silky voice.
The musical background of Too Good To Be True is provided by the classical quartet setting of piano (Jason Martineau), bass (Marcus Shelby), drums (Donald 'Duck' Bailey) and guitar (Calvin Keys). So the overall atmosphere is an intimate one that brings out the best of Buford.
The twelve songs on offer are all cover versions. Since Buford had chosen to record some less well-known songs and not the chestnuts we all know by heart, this works very well even for me who always has a preference for original compositions. But a crooner like Buford could sing the yellow pages and it would sound good.
Songs like Duke Ellington's Don't You Know I Care, Nuñez' Happening or Feller/Ward's I Just Dropped By To Say Hello create a perfect atmosphere for a nice evening with someone special, although I certainly would insist that Buford should sing and not just say hello if he really drops by.
The relaxed mood continues with songs like My One And Only Love, One For My Baby or A Sleepin' Bee and actually I could name each of the twelve songs, because they are all very good and sung with conviction by a singer who has "found jazz to be an expression of freedom, hope, and fulfillment that the world itself has embraced".
Too Good To Be True is a fine classical vocal jazz album that has this timeless quality so you can listen to it in ten years time and will enjoy it. But I advise you not to wait so long and get Buford's album soon. - jazz-not-jazz.com


The classic baritones of jazz... Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock, Billy Eckstein... are all gone now, but there's an amazing voice I'm going to introduce you to who does a sweet job of channeling the spirit of these greats of yesteryear in a fresh way that resonates beautifully with today's Jazz and Smooth Jazz. Buford Powers has been referred to as "the [San Francisco] Bay Area's most romantic singer" for good reason. In fact, the tunes you'll hear on ECLECTIC, his second release, represent a dozen reasons for this appellation. In keeping with his theme, Mr. Powers moves effortlessly from romantic, contemporary ballads like the Creed/Bell evergreen "Betcha By Golly Wow" and Van Morrison's "Someone Like You" to the Zydeco message song "N'awleans Shuffle (The Katrina Story)" to the bluesy "Room With a View of the Blues" and "T'ain't No Need", both of which also have a Joe Williams vibe to them. In my opinion, though, the signature song on this album is Mr. Powers' intimate and moving reading of Billy Strayhorn's iconic "Lush Life." I'm also especially drawn to the tasty "A Dream Come True" and his very cool, unique treatment of the 50's Roy Hamilton hit "Don't Let Go." The man from Oakland who grew up listening to the sounds of Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Gospel, has brought it all together for ECLECTIC, a truly memorable collection that makes it clear that the torch from the great baritones is still shining brightly through the voice of Buford Powers! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN - smoothjazz.com


Too Good To Be True, 2003. Eclectic, 2008



Buford Powers grew up in the community of Oakland, California with the sound of Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Gospel around him. Listening to such local standouts as Albert King, Lou Rawls, and Charles Brown, he developed a love for a broad range of male vocal stylings to go with his fondness for instrumental jazz. He soon found, through his singing with church choirs, that he too could accomplish an evocative connection with an audience. Upon discovering straight-ahead jazz at the age of 14, he then moved on to attending major festivals and shows, which he continued to do for the next four decades. Later, in the middle '70s, Buford was the sole proprietor of a nightclub in Oakland, which weekly featured local as well as international musicians. This gave him many opportunities to develop his sound.

Buford later immersed himself even more deeply into the music world, and began honing his style more seriously. This is when the voices of Johnny Hartman, Arthur Prysock, and Billy Eckstein piqued his interest. As more and more people came to hear Buford, they would compare him to these great legends. The road, it seemed, became clear; to carry the torch, and fill the void that these great baritones left behind.

In the '90s, Buford sought out mentors who would help him perfect his unique sound, finding along the way Mark Murphy, Kenny Washington, and Faye Carol. During this time he also began to perform at select venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, which in turn increased his popularity. He has been described by a local jazz DJ as "the Bay Area's most romantic singer." Buford's local demand led to the production of his first release in 2004, entitled "Too Good To Be True." This debut immediately found a home on KCSM, the Bay Area's only major 24-hour jazz station, which then led to a series of interviews.

This balladeer will always be recognizable because of the long-established tradition he continues. It is undeniable that this beautiful talent will continue to produce some of the finest romantic music that the ear might ever hear. A million-dollar voice, whispering of soft romance, sung to you by the velvety smooth baritone sound of Buford Powers.