September 10, 2014

V4YS Concert Review - Jazz à La Villette, Year 1959 Tribute - Eric Legnini & Friends vs Ray Charles - 060914

Sandra Nkaké, 060914 - Photo Vincent B.

"Jazz is not dead" is this year's Jazz à La Villette festival mantra. Well, "Groove ain't dead either" , judging by the massive gig closing this "Year 1959" special day in a packed Cabaret Sauvage.

After Miles and Coltrane, 1959s funky side was effectively on display, with belgium pianist Eric Legnini vision of Ray Charles' early works, especially his What'd I Say album.

As much as I enjoy Eric's jazz productions, I get even more excited when I see him letting his piano aside to focus on a Rhodes. I got even more excited when I realised he had invited two of the funkiest singers around to join him, Sandra Nkaké and Alice Russel.
Add to this a red-hot band and the talented young flutist/singer Elena Pinderhugues, and you have a recipe for some serious fun.

Sandra Nkaké, Elena Pinderhugues, Alice Russel - Photo Vincent B.

Setting the pace with his uber-groovy Rhodes lines, Eric Legnini let ample space to his vocal guests, who litterally turned the Cabaret Sauvage upside down.

Special mention to Sandra Nkaké, who once again blew me away, not only with her powerful voice but also her enthusiasm, humor and energy. I truly believe she's currently one of the most overlooked soul/funk female singer.

No Artelive recording for this one, but get a quick grasp of the atmosphere with this little video of their hot Ray Charles' Talkin' Bout You cover:

Thanks to my friend Vincent for the beautiful pics!

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