A few of us went to the Jazz Cafe tonight to see a tribute to Prince. We didn’t know what to expect in terms of who was playing, but felt that the quality you get at the Jazz Cafe plus the quality of the artist’s music, would do the business. And we booked a table so we could have a nice meal and get a good view…
And yes, it was good!
Check out this song while you read the rest. “DMSR”.
Looking on the internet afterwards, the core band were the Reeldeal, session musicians who’ve played at a high level who come together for various set pieces. A business, but one that actually involves loving the music. That came through hugely tonight – it was one big party.
The set was a nice mix of well known hits and songs that the true Prince fans would know. It was hugely funky and rocked when it needed to rock. So we had superb dance workouts like “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, “Controversy”and “DMSR” (from “1999″) that some people might not have known so well; but we also had “1999′, and “Kiss”. We had classic songs from “Sign Of The Times” like “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “Strange Relationship”. And then there was a wonderful “Raspberry Beret” and an awesome rendition of “Purple Rain”, with the guitar down to a tee. The guitar that we would all love to play. There were also covers of songs that Prince gave to other people: “Manic Monday” by the Bangles and “I Feel For You” by Chaka Khan. All it lacked was “Nothing Compares To U”…
There was a mix of singers. A white guy in a Pork Pie hat who had Prince’s voice off to a tee. A cool man with an afro. A woman who sang and moved like Chaka Khan. Another woman with a great soul voice. And a bloke from Washington DC with a beard and a falsetto that took “Kiss’ and “Raspberry Beret” in its/his stride. They were all superb.
Maaann, it was so good!
The encore was “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Kiss”. Can’t get much better than that. Both done to perfection – not simply copies, but given real personalty by the singers and players. Total celebration of the music.
The only way it could have been better was if the Purple One had turned up and given us a few of his best moves.
The tribute band – or collective in the case here, as the make up will change on each occasion – is now a well-established tradition. But when done well, it is not to be knocked. It is a great way of celebrating your favourite music.
And Prince most definitely counts as favourite music!