Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Live

Jazmine Sullivan: Jazz Cafe 08/09/09

Jazmine Sullivan @bluesandsoul.com
Jazmine Sullivan @bluesandsoul.com

From child prodigy to one of the hottest talents on the planet - Jazmine Sullivan was in town to play three live dates at London's Jazz Cafe and you could say the anticipation was just a little high!?

Upon arriving at the Jazz Cafe, we were greeted with a mix-up with tickets and told to stand outside. With tickets sorted we gained entry and were greeted by the buzz of expectant excited Sullivan fans who you could tell were thrilled at the chance to see their idol - as we sat and waited, we soaked up the electricity which was abundant in the air. Support for night Mc Clean was just about to start his last song as I was thinking "Shame we were delayed he seems quite good!?" As we clapped him off the stage the diva expectancy factor suddenly stepped up a gear. It was 9.40 when the crowd were greeted with Jazmine's career catch-up, care of a voiceover from the lady herself (a little tacky- reminded me of the voiceover from the beginning of X-Factor), while making her way front n' centre to loud applause as the crowd wooped and cheered for their idol, all set to be entertained by this pure talent.

With the stature of a younger Mica Paris. Wearing black trouser suite with rolled-up arms, black T-Shirt with gold emblem and the sparkliest gold bracelet I think I've ever seen, she looked every inch a superstar - Topped off with a faun coloured, for want of a better description, 70's air hostess style hat (think of the film 'Catch Me If You Can' but without Leonardo) accompanied by a huge, huge smile - she greeted the Jazz Cafe. So how do you follow that...

Simple, you sing 'Bust Your Windows' of course - to the crowds utter and obvious delight. This was a slightly different version with more swing and a slightly different tempo, but what shone out more than that bracelet was the silky tones of Sullivan's exquisite vocal. Sounding in resplendent form with a voice that you can only have been blessed with from birth - Jazmine Sullivan filled that room with every ounce of her talent and as we stopped in ore to listen, those defining tunes came thick and fast.

'Dream Big' was next up delivered in the same confident fashion, as Sullivan got this party started just right linking through to the 80's guitar infused track 'After The Hurricane'. These huge tunes were followed by another mighty track and one, in my opinion, of the stand-out tracks of the night - the instantly catchy 'Lions, Tigers & Bears' with the crowd joining in every note. So what better time for the next out of the bag to be the first cover of the night. Next up with an ok version of Kanye's 'Heartless' - I say ok only for the fact that, that tune seems to be a regular for artists to cover at the mo... I recently saw Melanie Fiona sing it while supporting Kanye's Mr Hudson and it went down an absolute storm, as you can imagine with a Kanye type audience. It was at this point Sullivan encouraged the audience to turn to the person next to them and say "Baby, one night is all I need!" So as Pete and I declined that offer (Arr-herm), another instantly catchy song 'Switch' rang out across the Jazz Cafe. This track in my humble opinion has got release written all over it- so fingers crossed.

Interesting moment of the night came when Sullivan sang happy birthday to a member of the audience. Here the adage applies, that it doesn't have to be a great song - but it's definitely the way you sing it. And WOW did she sing it! It was after this she sat and sang the second cover of the night and one I had not heard covered before - Seal's Grammy winning 'Kiss From A Rose' which was covered admirably. It was after this classic that show-stopper 'In Love With Another Man' (the song which got Sullivan her deal and you could see why) showed the full range of her pitch perfect delivery - with, dare I say, traces of Lauren Hill's lower range - each note was delivered with a sheer delicious quality. And as she said "thank you, I love you guy's" - we loved her right back for the last song of this impressive set, picking up the pace and ending on a high note with the superb reggae infused 'Need U Bad' which proved a great song to go out on...

So what did she do for an encore as the crowd bayed for more and after only onstage for an hour 10 mins, they probably deserved...

You guessed it you clever lot - absolutely nothing!

Great talent, great show, great songs. But tut, tut great shame... There's leave them wanting more and there's just plan leave them - but hey I'm not complaining (too much).

FOOTNOTE:
Sorry there are no live picture's to accompany this review, our photographer couldn't gain entry because of a ticket mix-up (shaking my head).
Words LEE TYLER

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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