Love flows from Bridgewater
That was the case when jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater headlined the show and captivated her audience with Jazz 101 at the Gaiety on Rodney Bay as the St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival enters its final weekend.
Never ashamed to say to that young man “you are one fine thing” Bridgewater ran deep with flirtatious looks, beguiling the audience with hypnotic tones.
She was also sassy with her young musicians, who she claimed “make a momma feel good”.
But as she sang the blues and talked about “love tonight” and wanting “to get it right”, the 63-year-old did not keep the love all for herself. She shared it with the audience through exquisite vocal technique and mic control.
Singing the blues never sounded that good as on Thursday evening.
Standards Afro Blue, Blue Monk, Save Your Love For Me; Michael Jackson’s Can’t Help It, Stevie Wonder’s Just Enough For The City, both rearranged by bandleader and trumpeter Theo Croker, got the watermark of Bridgewater.
Her almost hour and a half performance satisfied the hearts of the purists as she scatted à la jazzists Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. There were also strong vocal influences of the legendary Billie Holiday.
But the band was right up there with Bridgewater; no wonder they got her admiration. Croker and alto saxophonist Irwin Hall were awesome in their harmonies; bassist Eric Wheeler, pianist Michael King and drummer Kassa Overall were excellent support.
Opening act Omar Sosa’s quartet was equally passionate but yet different.
While Bridgewater was universal in appeal, Sosa was esoteric more giving a lesson than just plain pleasure. His passion and stage were not ignored, however, as he flawlessly pulled a diverse set of rhythms together underlining the fact that music is a universal language.
There is no doubt about the musicianship of his support team drummer Ernesto Simpson, saxophonist Leando Saint-Hill and bassist Childo Tomas.
Sosa’s smile while mastering the keyboard says he is one who is totally synergised with his instrument. And his entire band seemed a perfect fit as each other fed from a common desire: to please their audiences first and foremost.
Click this link to see some of the show on our facebook page.