Chazz Dixon
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Chazz Dixon

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The best kept secret in music

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"CHAZZ DIXON: – Crackin’"

Think I’m Losin’ It – More, More, More – Girl Are You Ready – Save Me – Shake Yo’ Butt – Dreamin’ Out Of Season – I Can Let Go – Somebody’s Somebody – Wish List – I’m Happy For You – I Kinda Miss Ya – Malinda - I Kinda Miss Ya (Club Mix)


I like this company’s new spin on their sound. "The Mature Groove". Pretty much sums it up really when compared to a lot of what we might call "cookie-cutter" R&B on the market today. I have enthused before about this little label and what it stands for. Same with a lot of labels, really. What touches me about this label is that it is founded on a strong working relationship between the artists which goes beyond the music and into realms of understanding and respect. These guys are what I would call symbiotic. This gel reminds me of the type of powerhouse necessary to seed the next Motown, Philadelphia International etcetera.

This is Chazz Dixon’s third album in almost as many years. His last Hitsville tribute album was FANTASTIC, and should be a staple part of your collection as its sure as hell one quality item. Again, Chazz’s Smokey Robinson styled vocals segue intimately with the production style of the mighty J – who you must familiarise yourself with if you have yet to do so, and the overseeing by R G Kelly better known as Ricardo who is a great recording artist in his own right.

The title of this 2006 effort is called "Crackin’". And crackin’ it is too. It’s a welcome return and builds on the strengths that already exists with his previous sets. There are more than a few songs on here that have had a repeat play here, and I am convinced that as time goes on these gentlemen become stronger, more focussed and target specific. Surely it cannot be long before the big time hails – although, sadly, the big time isn’t what it used to be, or should be. From the incessant tap of the opening track – one I can efinitely acknowledge – to the sunnier, warmer climes of "More, More, More" and the silkier balladry of "Girl Are You Ready" we already have three strong and essential compositions.

The gorgeously titled "Dreamin’ Out Of Season" is another winner, its slinky sashaying backbeat topped with Chazz’s drop-dead delivery is mouth-watering in the extreme. Not many independent artists can come up to scratch like this, but this label offers inspiration and light in a time that is dark for those with a basic desire to be individual and want to propagate quality on their terms. "I Can’t Let Go" deals with love’s ups and downs in a very adult and mature way – definitely a mature lyric here, let alone in the groove. I’m playing a lot of material from the 80s at the moment. Mid life crisis? LOL! Who knows, but I was struck by "Somebody’s Somebody" which has a nice clappable beat circa 1987. This works for me, and that’s all that matters. "Wish List" is a sexy winner, and the plodding Isley-ish "I’m Happy For You" also gains my approval.

As we would expect, there is a Smokey cover on here – and as I expect, it's not you’re run of the mill, well-known song either. This time it’s a quality rendition of "Malinda". Nicely done, Chazz. Nicely done. Please check this CD out the next time you’re surfing CD Baby. - Barry Towler


- Soul Express Magazine (UK) CD Review


"Hitsville . . . The House That Berry Built"

Soul Express CD Review


CHAZZ DIXON: Hitsville...The House That Berry Built
(US Da'Soul Recordings, 2004)
Smiling Faces - Choosy Begger - More Love - What Love Has Joined Together - You Sure Love To Ball - Here I Go Again - If You Let Me - The Only One Who Loves You / Dr. Feelgood - You Must Be Love - What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted - Does Your Mama Know About Me - Nitty Gritty - That Won't Stop Me (From Loving You)

It was only back in the summer that I was enthusing over his superb "Back To The Groove" set, and was very surprised to receive this CD so soon, hot on the heals. I must say that hot is a very appropriate word to describe this album. I have to say that I am sick to the back teeth with artists doing albums of cover versions - Jamie Cullum, Michael Bubble and the rest - and bemoan the whole pop idol thing. However, when an exceptional album arises then it is with gusto that I will trumpet it. I looked at the titles on this CD and this alone aroused my curiosity. We are not simply dealing with the obvious classic pop hits that we all know and love, but we have a selection of superb Motown tunes that are not so obvious, especially from a more commercial point of view.

Secondly what took my breath away was the sheer quality of the album. This has been conceived with love, deep respect, knowledge and a perfect attention to detail. Chazz Dixon and his producer, J, have not simply covered these songs in some dreary tribute format, but have ripped the guts of the songs apart and have recreated them with the same passion, ear and vogue of the original hitmakers themselves. Motown was a company borne out of frustration with the recording industry, and so too it seems has Da Soul Recordings. It is this raw frustration and overflowing talent, brimming optimism and dedication to their listeners, their craft and the heritage of quality black music that these gentlemen have entered the studio. I suppose that what we are looking at here is a seriously essential album. Imagine Smokey Robinson walking into a studio making a cover of Motown songs in a modern style, with traditional sensibilities, then that is the essence of what "Hitsville..." is all about. I love every song on display here. The enjoyment is hearing the new arrangements of old classics, the meticulous and the smooth, sensuous, delicate vocal skills that Chazz uses to caress the arrangements.

Some feel smooth as silk, others forceful with a real urgency of grabbing our attention. I for one was grabbed, big time from the word go with "Smilg Faces Sometimes". I have not heard a cover version of this classic by The Undisputed Truth covered so well. This could be Smokey singing this. Unbelievable. With Chazz' definate similarity to a Smokey Robinson it is not surprising that a fair few of the legend's hits are covered: "Choosy Begger"; "Here I Go Again", "The One Who Really Loves You", "You Must Be Love" and so on. However, my favourite moments are not these, great as they are.

I have heard various covers of Marvin Gaye over the years, some better than others, but I cannot enthuse more about the exquistite, beautiful, original take on Marvin's "You Sure Love To Ball". Wow! This is what the doctor ordered! His version, also, of Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers' "Does Your Mama Know About Me" is simply sublime. I can't thank you enough for this, guys. Great, great song and admirably executed. There is a slight Zapp feel with the synth/vocals in the backing. This is a true Motown classic and is often ignored or forgotten. We are treated to an original, new, song at the end, "That Won't Stop Me (From Loving You)" and that is excellent, too, closing this CD splendidly. I cannot recommend this enough and many I have exposed this to have been very impressed with it. This will soon be available for Christmas from CD Baby. And rightly so. Essential.
- Barry Towler - Soul Express Magizine CD Review (UK)


"Chazz Dixon - Back To The Groove"

CHAZZ DIXON
Back To The Groove
(US Da' Soul DSR 2004004V2A)

We may have lost Smokey Robinson to gospel recording at the moment but Chazz Dixon is right there waiting in the wings and, if you don't believe me, put this on,
shut your eyes and listen to Smokey's 'If You Can Want'. The up-to-date support might not match the Motown musicians or the vocalizing of the Miracles but Dixon
has the main man off to a 'T'. It's the only outside song among eleven, the rest being composed by a mixture of Chazz, 'J' (who performs all instruments except the trumpet on 'How Can This Be'), Rich Kelly and one Mr. Brown, who assists on 'Have We Lost It', a winsome ballad. Nothing here
gets much beyond second-gear - not an adverse criticism - the fastest being the jerky, mid-paced 'A Woman Needs Love',
which closes the set and which makes for a rather messy exit. Otherwise, gentle toe-tappers like 'Turned Around', When
I'm With You' and 'Him Or Me' abound, alongside simple, more contemporary items such as the Can't Turn Back' opener and Tears In My Eyes', which suffers
from the recent gimmicky craze of having a 'scratched 45' sound in the background just sufficiently there as to be irritating.
Slightly more upbeat is 'My Frame Of
Mind' but it is still only around midtempo and, throughout, there's that uncanny Smokey Robinson voice to add to the enjoyment. Apologies to Chazz if all he wants to be is original and his own man
but, if you can't help sounding like someone, you couldn't do much better than sound like Smokey. Shut your eyes again and listen to the ballad, 'How Can This Be'
and the near-perfect 'Make It Easy'. From www.chazzdixon.com or cdbaby, this is a worthwhile purchase.
Editor: David Cole - In The Basement - Magazine (UK) issue # 36 pg 53/Nov 2004 - In The Basement Magizine (UK)


"Back To The Groove"

Featured Artist Review - Chazz Dixon
Dollars can't make up for raw determination and fundamental musical skills. You can look back in recent and past music history and find tons of material where hundreds of thousands of dollars were wasted to produce garbage. Da Soul Records took thier determination and skills and produced a jazz bombshell.
The first thing that I noticed as I listened to the tracks was the consistent strong tenor of the singers voice. Chazz definately has the potential to be right up there with Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson. There are no forced or contrived high notes or a reluctance to reach those notes and carry the highs out of fear that some lack of talent might be exposed. The confidence is there along with the talent to support it.
The first track, Can't Turn Back, is flush with a subtle r&b tempo that pleasantly compliments Chazz's vocals. The background vocals lay the groundwork in soulful arrangements that leave a pleasant aftertaste in the ears after the song fades out.
In a sudden flip flop the jazz comes to the forefront on the second track, Turned Around, and the r&b element slips quietly to the background. Its an interesting mix with one of the best improvisationals that I have ever heard.
"Have We Lost It", is a good effort at slow tempo serenade over dying love. An even better attemp at slow groove corooning comes out in track 8, Tears in My Eyes.
There should definately be a place in r&b for this singer who seems to possess fantasticlly soulful vocals in the Motown tradition. If you just like great r&b and you dont care if the album had a big name producer with a high dollar budget (which won't gauruntee its not trash) then this album deserves a place in your collection.
Joseph - Urban Soul Nation (D.C.)
- Urban Soul Nation (Washington DC)


"Back To The Groove"

CHAZZ DIXON

Facially, Chazz Dixon looks a little like Gavin Christopher vocally, Chazz sounds a LOT like my hero, Smokey Robinson. In fact, I would wager that the unaware would be fooled into thinking that this was a new Smokey Robinson CD. There is, in fact a cover of "If You Can Want" on here! Much mischief could be made on radio with this, and probably is. Here therefore I lay bare my bias. I LOVE Smokey's vocals - no, in fact I ADORE them, and the fact that these two men are so similar swayed me in the first instance. Even the soulful inflections are there, but without overtly trying to mimic the great Motown legend. Not unlike the Gary Brown CD, this is a very worthwhile effort and is another CD I can recommend.

The beats are sparse, the keyboards ethereal and this is just right for spotlighting the sublime nature of Chazz's floating, lilting vocal athletics. The chunky hip-hopish tapping beat and keyboards lead into a telephone monologue that allows Chazz to outpour his soul onto this more-ish groove. The soulful, early 90s independent sound of "Turned Around" seriously displays Chazz's vocal skills, and I think you'll agree that these really are quite fine. "Have We Lost It" could almost spring from the L.R. Superstars or Anthony & Danette albums and should please those who bought these sets. "Him Or Me" has a great, lazy guitar and warm, summery feel and Chazz sounds less like Smokey throughout this than the aforementioned tracks. I get the feeling of the tunes on Kevin "Love Man" Nash's album on this song. A fun midtempo stepper can be found in "My Frame Of Mind" and would not be far separated from the quality numbers that were around in 1987. This is an artist to keep an eye on. Da'Soul are building up a nice little stash of artists here and it will be interesting to see how this develops.
- Barry Towler
Barry Towler - Soul Express Magizine - UK - Chazz Dixon - Soul Express Magizine CD Review (UK)


"Raindrops & Roses"

"Rainsdrops and Roses"
Reviewer: Karl "Kdubya" Williams

Attention all Lovers and want to be Romeos. I have found your Holy Grail. You need look no further than this excellent collection of songs. Grab your favorite brand of vino,a couple of candles and Chazz Dixon's "Hitsville The House That Berry Built",you'll be set for the evening. Your lady will love you for it! This cd has L-O-V-E written all over it as Chazz Dixon croons and embraces some of Motowns romantic masterpieces. Though he is often compared to Smokey Robinson, this brother puts his own identifible stamp on these classics as well as one of my favorites called That wont stop me from loving you. Listen closely to his soft spun vocal gymnastics during his seven minute opus to love entitled The One who really loves You/Dr. Feelgood. The Temptations, Jimmy Ruffin,Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye are all represented in this wonderful CD. Now fellas, you know Valentines day is fastly approaching.......What could be better than romancing your lady with a little help from our modern day cupid Chazz Dixon? Oh yes and ladies if you want your man to "Do Right" and "Be Right" but he just dont get it !!!Buy this cd and play it for him,he'll probably try to sing along like he knew what you wanted all the time. Any way you cut it you'll both be cool, at least until summer. But dont worry Chazz will probably be working on another CD by then.
- CD Baby review - Karl "Kdubya" Williams


"URBAN MUSIC REVIEW - Hitsville, The House That Berry Built"

Chazz Dixon takes us back to the legendary Motown era with this album which was named appropriately, "Hitsville, the house that Berry built..." This cover album does justice to the original artists and producers who gave us some of the most memorable songs from that era.
This particular CD cover, while lacking in the sophisticated art direction and design prominent among the majors, is more telling and true to heart than most of the ones I have seen. On the inside fold out, we see Chazz casually strolling about what we think is a mansion right on the canal. His head is down, introspective, thinking, and pondering about life's journey that brought him to this point.
All the soulful thought put into this project paid off. Track 1, "Smiling Faces", is a unabashed attempt to transport its listeners into the time tunnel back to the early seventies style. The harmonies they have created do a adequate job of conjuring up images of a society in the 60's and early 70's in flux and approaching the breaking point. "Beware of the handshake...it has a snake...."
Track 2, "Choosey Beggar", brings out the truth warmth and depth of this mans voice. The harmony flows just as smooth as the original from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
Track 3, "More Love", takes a bold chance with yet another classic and Chazz yet again emerges unscathed. He unabashadly indulges in the complex vocal harmonies and "J" goes to great lengths to bring out a classic feel from computer syntesizers that were nowhere in existence during the time of the original song. That takes extraorinary effort and talent. No doubt, the purists will be turned off by this without realizing a cover album should not strive to be an exact duplicate but instead should the musician's own unique interpretation.
The next track, "What Love has Joined Together", is a ballad in the literal classic sense. This is the kind of track that your parents (or grandparents) danced to on thier first high school dance. Its sultry in a not too over the top 60's kind of way.
"Here I Go Again", track 6, is another classic ballad and again a succesful cover of a timeless classic. Women will undoubtedly find his vocal range as exciting as any of the contmporary favorites among the sistas, from Maxwell to DeAngelo.
"Nitty Gritty", track 12, is a cover of a song originally performed by Glady Knight and The Pips. The musicians as well as the lead singer Chazz, let lose a little bit and let the funkified James Brown infused bass line take hold.
Overall this is a release that will make its way into your heart and its charismatic classic soul will make you reminece about the good times, the Motown sound, and the house that berry built even if you weren't alive to experience it first hand.
- DJ. JJ - Urban Soul Nation / Washington D.C.


Discography

Cd's released -

Introducing Chazz Dixon
Back To The Groove
Hitsville, The House That Berry Built
Crackin'

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Actor/Singer/Songwriter
Chazz is a singer/songwriter/actor. He's been performing on stage since the age of 4 and signed his first deal at the age of 17. His velvet high pitched voice is a blend of sensual r&b with an under tone of soft core jazz . . . sexual. During February of 2001 he scored with the number 1 song on MP3's Urban Contemporary Chart and R&B Chart. Also, as of Jan. '05, the song 'Have We Lost It' from the cd 'Back To The Groove' has held the #1 spot on Maddhouz.com, Chicago's top radio network.
Chazz has formed several groups through the years with an emphasis on vocals. With the help of Aki Aleong (former manager of Berry White,Mandrell and jazz man Norman Conners) he began developing his skills. Harvey Fuqua (songwriter/producer/former VP Motown Records) stepped in like a big brother and helped develop the details of his stage persona . . . lights, stage, performance rider, etc.
Currently Chazz travels with a seven piece ensemble of musicians and singers. The team has performed together both on stage and in the studio for the past 11 years.
Proudly, in addition to singing and recording, Chazz serves on the Chicago local of the Screen Actors Guild sitting on several committees. He's appeared in commercials, television and film and occasionally works as a print model when time permits. Chazz is also a published journalist and poet.