SRO Crowd Cheers for Paulette McWilliams

Announced first on EURWEB, last Friday night’s (June 18) long-awaited appearance by jazz vocalist Paulette McWilliams and band played to a sell-out crowd at Manhattan’s Joe’s Pub. "Those four songs!" remarked a record producer in attendance referring to four original tunes scribed by McWilliams herself in collaboration with writing partner Anne Herring. "Gone, Black Honey, The Gift and Everything Changes " each evoked a strong response and resonated deeply with the crowd earning McWilliams spontaneous standing ovations in the middle and at the end of the set.

Two songs in particular were loved by the audience: "The Gift," gives poetic voice to those talents we all possess, but are somehow silenced. "Black Honey," destined to become a classic sensual anthem of discovery of a perfect love.

McWilliams’s, whose musical career is rooted the very best of R&B blends her totally original lyrics with sophisticated R&B flavor woven within a traditional Jazz idiom.

Her music is spontaneous, not derivative and immediately appreciated as something that comes from the combination of her rich musical heritage and special spirit --her soul -- and not just manufactured to sell records. A fan responding to the show on McWilliam’s website wrote, "We have been waiting for this."

McWilliams’ regular partner, renown saxophonist Vincent Herring, was held up on a tour in Europe and could not make the gig at Joe’s Pub however, an able last minute stand-in, Myron Walden stepped up and filled Herring’s shoes with melodic flute and alto compliment and counterpoint to McWilliams subtle, sensual and sometimes searing vocals. On "Black Honey McWilliams and Walden danced a vocal and sax "duet" that embodied the "sweet sap from the dark rooted tree" double entendre’ of the song’s sensual, but romantic story line.

McWilliams is probably one of the best known voices without a face in America. The original female lead of "Rufus" and a career long stint of session work and touring with Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Quincy, Bette Midler, Aretha and dozens of other giants, hers is also the voice that entices you to drink "Folgers" or use "Cover Girl" cosmetics.

McWilliams has emerged from the public anonymity of the chorus line and jingle booth to delight us with her prodigious song writing and vocal gifts including a jazzy, funky, sassy up-front style, glowing smile, and fluid sultry dance moves that bring her music to life in a singular, spectacular aural and visual experience

Find out more about McWilliam’s impressive discography and "next appearing" places and dates at her website.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Paulette McWilliams
  • Event Date: 6/18/2004
  • Subtitle: Concert Review
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