All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Kyle Taylor Parker at The Green Room 42

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
Kyle Taylor Parker
The Green Room 42
The Soul Session
New York, NY
March 11, 2018

Kyle Taylor Parker made a splash when he replaced Billy Porter as Lola in the Broadway hit Kinky Boots. Since jumping into the deep end of musical theater, however, he has never forgotten the even deeper roots that gave creative purchase to his crisp, clarion voice in the first place. "I think in Broadway lyrics, but feel in soul, jazz, and blues," he told a sufficiently entertained audience at The Green Room 42, a new-ish venue playing host to his "Soul Session" series. Through said series, he rebrands show tunes as standards in their own right, sprinkling among them personal favorites from the popular canon for good measure.

Like any jazz musician worth his threads, he was patient in his thematic unpacking, gave primacy to the melodies, and shared the stage (and the love) with a group of passionate musicians. Flanked by a superb trio of backup singers (KC Comeaux, Alexis Simms, and David Rowen) and uplifted by the eclectic stylings of guitarist Hiro Homma, bassist Colin Dean, drummer Zach Eldridge, and pianist Johsua Stephen Kartes, he flew through his carefully chosen repertoire with eagle-eyed precision.

From an obvious love for all things Broadway, KTP dealt and fanned a royal flush of timeless selections. Whether setting the world on fire in the concert's opener ("We Are Young" from Fun) or turning the familiar strains of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Misérables (hats off to Simms for her powerful solo turn!) into a personal crusade, at evening's end the air practically sparkled with optimism. Other musicals referenced included Next to Normal ("I'm Alive"), Rent ("Out Tonight"), and The Wiz ("Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News"). Hairspray's "Run and Tell That" showed a playful side to KTP's artistry, one unafraid to get a tan in the blinding spectrum of sexuality that makes up the human landscape. Other highlights included "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera) and West Side Story's "I Feel Pretty." For the latter, KTP was joined by Kinky Boots costar Joey Taranto in a rainbow-hued duet.

As a veteran of the stage, KTP has clearly absorbed the finer nuances of embodying songs to their fullest emotional extent. Cases in point were his gorgeous renditions of Bobby Hebb's "Sunny," Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," and Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." His diction, phrasing, and adlibbing worked seamlessly to fill the room with heartfelt vibrations. Another such standout was "The Shape of Love" by songwriting team Jacob Yandura and Rebekah Greer Melocik. This brief yet arresting ballad was a more-than-suitable vehicle for a voice that lives on freedom rather than any other fuel.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Vision Festival 2018" Live Reviews Vision Festival 2018
by John Sharpe
Published: June 5, 2018
Read "The Dixie Dregs at Scottish Rite Auditorium" Live Reviews The Dixie Dregs at Scottish Rite Auditorium
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Duski at the Bronx Bar" Live Reviews Duski at the Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Detroit Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley" Live Reviews Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band At Blues Alley
by David Hadley Ray
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms" Live Reviews Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms
by Martin Longley
Published: January 17, 2018