I will start with stating I am not a jazz aficionado and my taste in Jazz music falls into some very narrow categories with Boogie Woogie, New Orleans and Stride Piano being at the top of the list. When an extremely talented performer comes to town with a great band that can follow all his moves and they deliver all of these along with a very fun and entertaining show, it is guaranteed that I will be left wanting more. That is exactly what happened last night!
I have been a fan of his since 2010 when I first heard his album Lovelight and this was the third time I’ve seen him in concert. As was said at the opening of last nights show, after two sold out appearances at the NAC Fourth Stage, he deserved to play a show in the theatre. Needless to say, he took full advantage of the opportunity. I’m still amazed at how his hands dance over the keys and watching them move so fast that they’re just a blur just leaves me sitting there with my jaw on the floor. And when you think you’ve seen it all he then plays with one hand on the grand piano and the other on the organ that is behind his back!
In addition to his amazing talent, Michael also delivers a wonderful patter throughout the show that draws the audiences even closer. This, coupled with the fact that he works without a set list so he can tailor the show to the audience (including an impromptu happy birthday to some of the audience members), turns a great performance into a fantastic show. Kudos to Michael and his great band for another great show at the NAC. I can’t wait for their next visit into town.
Speaking of Jazz, Oliver Jones, a Canadian Jazz Pianist Legend, is making his farewell tour right now and will be playing the NAC on May 19th. If you love jazz classics and jazz piano, I suggest you make the excursion to see the Oliver Jones Trio before it’s too late.