Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Josh Osho: Jazz Cafe 25/6/12

Josh Osho; Jazz Cafe 25/6/12
Josh Osho; Jazz Cafe 25/6/12 Josh Osho: Jazz Cafe 25/6/12

Selling out one of London's most prestigious venues the Jazz Cafe is never an easy thing to do for a new artist, even more so as this was a Monday night. But Island record's bright young hope for future glory Josh Osho sold it out with relative ease.

In fact it was only a visibly chuffed and inherently verbal Mr Osho who seemed surprised by the feat. And as an expectant crowd savoured the fact they had purchased the hottest ticket in town, the expectantly for an evening of fresh (and I mean that word in ALL ways) quality soul grew to fever pitch as their hero held court. I think the venue has to take a tad of credit here to, as the Jazz Cafe has always for me, been the perfect size of venue for this kind of occasion. With new artist connecting with his new fans, it's intimate nature helped us get truly aquatinted with the artist, his music, his ideals, his philosophies, his band (including DJ), his friends and even his mother! Who was proudly vocal in support of her kin.

It was an evening for Osho to showcase his momentous and uplifting debut album "L.I.F.E." (all I can say is, get it!), while giving us a running commentary of each track and funnily enough, HIS life. O and if you're wondering what L.I.F.E. means (haven't we all asked that question beforeI?), it's 'Learning Is For Ever,' as all were encouraged to repeat the phrase until it sank in… so yes, we did say it quite a few times!

As Osho turned up the heat on stage with his performance, he began to disrobe accordingly, this drew a few whistles/comments of appreciation for the ladies. Stripping to a white vest, Osho's almost embarrassed retort was that he was obviously "hot" and he HAD to resort to a tight fitting number for "comfort" and "necessity" (errr yeah ok) - well his mum was there I suppose! lol

Ok, best time to tackle the John Legend comparison, yep I can see the vocal tone similarities and he can hold a tune in a similar way (especially on piano led tracks). BUT, and I shall say zis only voince "Our boy is a separate entirety entirely, his FRESH (I use that word again with more vigour) approach/delivery/attitude is refreshing and apparent from start to finish both live and on his album L.I.F.E. - he is an up lifting shot in the arm, in an age when artist's try and be a little too clever with material, Josh Osho delivers it straight down the middle - the album 'does what it says on the packet' if you like. Right, I've said my piece. On with the show…

Potential future hit (remixed right), in my humble opinion, "Wishing Well" drew great appreciation from the crowd, as did the near perfection of "High Light Of My Day." "Imperfections" is another hit in waiting, while "S.O.S." is a simply stunning track which exposes Osho's diverse talent as both storyteller and deft vocalist.

Highlights for me and also for a vocally appreciative crowd where the mighty tracks "Giants" and the set closing, crowd baying for it's inclusion, magnificently string led feel good "Redemption Days." Both were delivered by an artist not only stripped down physically, stripped down vocally with just guitar in hand but stripped bare in baring his soul… music.

Encore was Kanye's "Jesus Walks," strange choice? Not in the way this baby was arranged… with a simple tight strum, an "O-wa-O" and the only recognisable part of the original, a low "bump-ba-baa-bump" backing vocal looped by the artist's foot - Osho plucked away while delivering a gospally charged highly believable vocal "Jesus walks with me."

You know what Josh? I think after this performance he just might.

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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