197

Joe Thomas at Central Park Summerstage, NYC

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
"You are a big part of our success," Joe acknowledged after kicking off the show with three upbeat uninterrupted numbers. "After 16 years in this business, we couldn't have gotten here without y'all."
Joe Thomas
Central Park Summerstage
New York, New York
July 26, 2009

A repeated loop from the intro of Frank Sinatra's "(Theme from) New York, New York" set the tone for Joe (Thomas)'s extended set in Central Park, where he performed before a large crowd of avid fans that came out in large numbers in spite of the intense heat and humidity.

He came in impeccably dressed in suit and tie but, given the soaring temperatures, soon shed those layers and performed the rest of the show in a tank top. "You are a big part of our success," Joe acknowledged after kicking off the show with three upbeat uninterrupted numbers. "After 16 years in this business, we couldn't have gotten here without y'all." It also didn't hurt that his recently released Signature (Kedar/Universal) had just reached the top of the R&B charts—which made this free show all the more interesting to all.

Joe's style is a cohesive mix of classic and contemporary soul—sort of a cross between Maxwell and Luther Vandross. During his show, he played strong, funky dance-oriented tunes accompanied by sexy, soulful ballads that were interrupted only when he picked up a solo guitar to serenade the crowd with two new songs. Though he initially showcased new material during the show's earlier moments, halfway through he began playing crowd-pleasers like "I'm In Luv," "I Wanna Know" and "All the Things (Your Man Won't Do)," which had thousands in the audience singing along with him.

His seven-piece band exhibited great chemistry, providing just the right texture for his velvet voice when playing ballads while giving the necessary thump for the more rhythmic melodies.

The high point of the set came at the end, when Joe paid tribute to Michael Jackson with a medley that included three songs from the late singer's Thriller, "Rock With You," "Human Nature" and "Billie Jean," the latter of which served also for the musicians to show their individual talents. The finale, moreover, was demonstrably well received—turning a superior overall performance into one of this season's most memorable open-air concerts thus far.


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Vossajazz 2017 Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights Live Reviews Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read Tallinn Music Week 2017 Live Reviews Tallinn Music Week 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: April 16, 2017
Read Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read Miles From India at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Miles From India at SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Stockholm Jazz Festival 2016
by John Ephland
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "The Tom & Jamie Show at the College Street Congregational Church" Live Reviews The Tom & Jamie Show at the College Street...
by Doug Collette
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "European Jazz Conference 2016" Live Reviews European Jazz Conference 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground" Live Reviews The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Jon Cleary at The Ardmore Music Hall" Live Reviews Jon Cleary at The Ardmore Music Hall
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights" Live Reviews Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!