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Introducing each selection as if it were part of a true classical programme, former Jethro Tull key man David Palmer flayed and flitted around the conductor’s stand as members of the orchestra, chorus and singers like Natalie Choquette, Marie-Denise Pelletier and Luck Mervil laboured through a worthy concept run amok. Singing well-known songs as if reading them off of transliterated cue cards, the trio of soloists lost many lyrics in hyper-Mercury-al falsettos which tried to outdo a voice that few can match. Missed cues and mumbled words led Palmer to ask for instant repetitions of a few songs and a reprise of "We Are the Champions" (both of which were inexplicably separated from "We Will Rock You") after a well-received encore of two well-fitting Tull tunes. Though songs like "Somebody To Love" and "Who Wants to Live Forever" worked well in the proposed style, the sufficiently meaty but parentally overenunciated "Another One Bites the Dust" and both versions of the string-assisted "Now I’m Here" lost something in their translations to orchestral pieces. Smoke machines and lighting effects did little to confirm the classical mood Palmer was apprently going for, nor did the omission of workable pieces like the theme from the classic cult film "Flash." Though the triumphant conclusion of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was redeeming, little could be done to restore order to this random and under-rehearsed performance.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.