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

Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul at the Paramount

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul
The Paramount
Huntington, NY
October 4, 2017

Ace sideman, actor, disc jockey, label chief, social activist, philanthropist, solo superstar. There really is nothing that Little Steven can't do. Born Steven Lento in Boston, MA in 1950. He lived in Watertown, MA until 1957, when his mother remarried and he took the last name of his stepfather—Van Zandt. Soon after the wedding, the family moved from MA to NJ.

Van Zandt is a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band where he first adopted the stage name Miami Steve. In the mid-'70s, Van Zandt became a songwriter and producer for fellow Jersey shore act Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes. He also received production credits on the classic Springsteen albums The River (Columbia Records, 1980) and Born In The U.S.A. (Columbia Records, 1984), produced artists such as Gary U.S. Bonds, Lone Justice, and others. He is also known for his roles on the TV shows The Sopranos and Lilyhammer.

In the '80s, Van Zandt began his solo career, adopted the moniker Little Steven and created Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul. In 2014, the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame came calling and he was inducted as a member of the E Street Band.

Touring behind his first solo release in nearly twenty years, on his first solo tour in almost twenty-five years, Little Steven appeared at Huntington, NY's the Paramount and delivered an exhilarating show that was a rock 'n' roll revival, a musical history lesson, a soul-infused trip down memory lane and, most-importantly, a powerhouse performance.

Opening with "Even The Losers" in tribute to the late Tom Petty, Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul proceeded to light the venue on fire by performing an approximately two-and-a-half hour set featuring much of the material from the Soulfire (Wicked Cool/Big Machine/UMe, 2017) album. Following the tribute, Little Steven (dressed in his scarf, bandana, long coat and frilly shirt) and his 11-member band (featuring multiple back-up singers and a horn section) dove right into "Soulfire," "I'm Coming Back" and the Etta James cover "Blues Is My Business"— the first three songs on the album. Following this trio of tunes, he addressed the crowd, stating, "Good evening! This place is funky. I like it!" The crowd erupted and got even louder when the band launched into "Love On The Wrong Side of Town," which he and Springsteen originally wrote for Southside Johnny.

The performance also featured a superb take on "Angel Eyes" from his 1982 solo debut Men Without Women (EMI Records) and a powerful "Standing In The Line Of Fire," which was written for Gary "U.S." Bonds, and on this night featured guest vocals by Bonds, himself. The Long Island native was in fine voice and left the crowd buzzing. Little Steven also offered up "Saint Valentine's Day," "I Saw The Light," the doo-wop infused "The City Weeps Tonight," paid tribute to James Brown with the horn-filled "Down And Out In New York City" and "Princess of Little Italy" all from Soulfire.

"I Am A Patriot" got the attention of and a huge cheer from the more political audience members with the "I ain't no Democrat/And I ain't no Republican/I only know one party/And it is freedom" lyrical passage. "I've Been Waiting" as well as "Groovin' Is Easy," the soulful "Ride The Night Away" and the Latin-influenced political dance rock of "Bitter Fruit" from 1987's Freedom No Compromise (EMI Records) kept the funky R&B groove going. The main set closed with a sweet version of "Forever" (from Men Without Women) whose video received heavy rotation by MTV.

The encores featured the appropriate "I Don't Want To Go Home." The crowd which had spent the majority of the evening on its feet, were now dancing in the aisles with smiles and joy and happiness on their faces. "Out Of The Darkness" closed out the performance. Little Steven alluded to the current political climate when he said that as a group we'd see our way through the darkness.

The evening was a celebration of rock, soul, R&B, doo-wop, jazz, blues, and more—specifically that hard to describe Jersey sound. The music was fantastic and Little Steven was clearly in a great mood. Though he made his bones as a member of the E-Street Band, Little Steven continues to prove that he, in his own rite, is a huge talent. To those in attendance, who may not have realized it prior to this evening, Little Steven, the musical encyclopedia, influenced Springsteen as much as Springsteen influenced him. And, thankfully, both artists continue to deliver that signature Jersey sound.

Photo Credit: Christine Connallon
[Additional article contributions by Christine Connallon].

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read European Jazz Conference 2018 Live Reviews
European Jazz Conference 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 25, 2018
Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
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 "Friehofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Friehofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2018
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café" Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon" Live Reviews NYC Winter Jazzfest 2018 - The Friday Marathon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Ted Chubb Band at Trumpets Jazz Club" Live Reviews Ted Chubb Band at Trumpets Jazz Club
by David A. Orthmann
Published: June 26, 2018