South Bay Entertainment Group presented a wonderful mix of jazz and R&B Saturday December 27, 2003 in Redondo Beach CA, with a great line-up. Among the performers were jazz and R&B recording artist Angela Bofill and jazz recording artist Bobby Lyle featuring Mindi Abair and Howard Hewett. When the doors opened and the concert enthusiasts filled the newly redecorated lobby, some engaged in small talk, while others refreshed themselves with a cool beverage or bought souvenirs. As the evening wore on the concerts enthusiasts began to fill their seats in the concert hall and eagerly waited for the show to begin. Although the show began approximately 45 minutes behind schedule, it was well worth the wait.
When the sensational Angela Bofill took to the stage, the audience warmly received her as she began an hour-long set. Bofill sang beautifully as she has always done. My brother introduced me to Ms. Bofill’s music some time ago and I must say, she still maintains the same quality in her sound as she did many years back. Bofill gets the audience involved early as she immerses them with anecdotes, comical humor, as well as a deep sense of pride of who she is and where she came from. Being a native of New York City Bofill was exposed to many different styles and interpretations of music, from Latin to Jazz, and R&B to Pop. The dynamic and vivacious vocalist has traveled around the world and has worked with well renowned artist in the music world. The latest compact disc from Bofill entitled, Platinum & Gold Collections
is composed of her past accomplishments as a thriving recording artist.
As Bofill continued her performance with a string of hits of past, she took time to acknowledge and dedicated "Angel Of The Night," to the late great Celia Cruz, and deservedly so. In addition, the audience just beamed and applauded with excitement as Bofill sang, "I Try" and "This Time I’ll Be Sweeter," two of the well-received ballads of the evening. Bofill, certainly set the tone for the second half of the show, as Bofill’s performance came to a close the audience rose to give her a standing ovation, evident of the tremendous talent and creativity that Bofill possesses.
The energetic pianist / keyboardist Bobby Lyle came out swinging with all fingers agilely sliding across all eighty-eight keys. He got the audience pumped from the beginning and never cut them loose, barley time to take a breath before the next song and the excitement started all over again. Lyle switched over to keyboards and continued to amaze the audience with his unique style of improvisation and great sense of timing. He soon after introduced the wonderful alto / soprano saxophonist, Mindi Abair and for most of the audience it was the first time that they ever heard of Abair or actually seen her perform. However, not to be disappointed as she engrossed herself totally into the music of the moment, as she gracefully moved from one end of the stage to the other performing flawlessly.
Abair is truly on her way to making her mark as one of the best female saxophonist in this vast arena of artistry, with her meticulous approach to jazz adaptations. Abair has worked with many talented musicians in the music business over the years such as, Peter White, Dave Koz, Backstreet Boys, Mandy Moore, Jonathan Butler and others notable artist. It Just Happens That Way
is the title of Abair’s compact disc, released February 2002; the compact disc is composed of various music styles such as jazz, with a pop and R&B flavor as well.
Lyle and Abair continued to work their magic together on stage as they played each other’s music in such a skillful fashion, never once loosing sight of the audience appreciation for their intricate improvisations. Yet, in a rare moment Lyle paused and allowed the audience to exhale as he bravely introduced the one and only balladeer-Howard Hewett. Lyle featured Hewett on his latest compact disc, Joyful
- released November 2002; Hewett gives a heart-felt rendition of "Caught Up," a beautiful soulful ballad.
Truly one of the most refined vocalists among a selected few, Hewett gave a superb performance of past classics from his days of old with the R&B group Shalamar and as a solo artist. Hewett- got up close and personal with the audience as he sat on the edge of the stage and sang his heart out in the sweet key of success. His smooth fusion of R&B and pop intertwined to create a rhythmic harmony that was quite pleasing to everyone, apparent from the cheers of approval. Singer, songwriter and producer Howard Hewett is also an established jazz, pop and gospel artist as well. Hewett’s latest compact disc, It’s Time
- is comprised of mostly original songs with a preference on ballads, to keep his fans satisfied for many years to come.
As the evening came to a close Lyle interjects the title of the last song to be performed- "Spirit Song," however, a request came from the audience for, "Ivory Coast," unplanned therefore unrehearsed. Lyle and Abair once again took an artful approach that went over great with the audience.