Last night, January 15, 2010, Lalah Hathaway and band performed a touch of jazz and ample servings of R&B at the Barbados Jazz Festival.
The concert for the evening was held on the picturesque grounds of the residence of the Barbados Prime Minister (David Thompson) at Ilaro Court in St. Michael. Guest wore fanciful dress for this most honored occasion. A barefoot Ms. Hathaway and the musicians chose more casual attire of blue jeans.
Hathaway, a Berklee graduate, treated guests a small taste of jazz in her rendition of "Summertime." As she presented other non-jazz tunes and a few pop covers throughout the evening, her ability to incorporate jazz scatting was skilled and refined. While she seemed most comfortable within a two-octave range, her ability to flex her technique within her established boundaries was effortless.
A generous bandleader, supporting musicians were allowed to stretch their artistic legs a bit, which made for a well-rounded presentation and a flaming guitar solo. Of special note, the subtle support work by background vocalist Jason Morales reflected an understanding of the emotional impact of vocal harmony and musical chemistry. There were a few moments where you could sense that he was respectfully holding back but could have easily taken it to the next level. Keep your eye on this young man that currently resides in Los Angeles and is in the process of making a solo CD.
The Barbados Jazz Festival runs through January 17, 2010. Many thanks to Bill King (ejazznews.com) for his assistance with the camera setup.
Editor's Note: 1/18/10 updated