Kevin Mahogany's sudden prominence in the mid-'90s was a relief to many who felt that male jazz singers under the age of 60 were nonexistent.
His swinging style was reminiscent, but not derivative of, Joe Williams
. Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1958, Mahogany played piano, clarinet, and various saxophones while growing up before deciding to specialize in singing. He attended Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas and sang locally in some R&B groups. In the early '90s, Mahogany dedicated himself to jazz and, after two fine albums for Enja
, he signed with Warner Bros.
for LPs including 1997's Another Time Another Place and 1998's My Romance. In addition, he recorded as a guest on dates by Elvin Jones
and arranger Frank Mantooth
. In fall 2000, Portrait of Kevin Mahogany was released, followed by the Motown
-centric Pride & Joy in 2002, the self-explanatory Big Band in 2005, and 2015's The Vienna Affair, the latter recorded in its namesake city with a quartet of Austrian musicians. Mahogany died in December 2017 at his home in Kansas City; he was 59 years old. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi