Maxwell is in the house.
An R&B crooner with highly emotive, silky-smooth pipes, Maxwell has been called the son that Marvin Gaye never had – he’s bright, and creative, and his love songs have a level of depth not found in the lyrics of today’s other soul music lovin’ men.
He’s in concert Tuesday night (July 28) at the Savannah Civic Center, in the Johnny Mercer Theatre, with Chrisette Michele opening.
Maxwell has a incredible vocal range (check out his version of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work”) and a falsetto that rivals Prince’s. He is considered a key component of the “neo-soul” movement that began in the 1990s.
BLACKSummer’s Night, his first album in eight years, is currently at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. “Pretty Wings,” from the album, is at No. 5 on the Hip Hop/R&B chart, and reached the top spot on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Recently, the artist talked with Billboard about his lengthy hiatus. “Up to that point I’d been on the road and didn’t have a chance to really live,” he said. “But I write about real life experiences, so it just felt like I had to sit back and let these experiences happen and inspire me all over again.
“People ask, ‘Why so long?’ and I say, ‘It’s easier to take something that’s of the moment, but so much harder to say something that will resonate today, tomorrow and for all times.’ I want my music to last forever. I never want my music to be dated.
"‘Pretty Wings’ falls into that. I met this girl who I still respect very much, and although it didn’t work out, I got lots of inspiration from it. This track speaks of my time with her.” Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28 in the Jonny Mercer Theatre. Tickets are $45-$85 at www.etix.com. Artist Web site: www.musze.com.
Here comes Mose
The great jazz/blues singer, songwriter and pianist Mose Allison will headline the 2009 Savannah Jazz Festival, Sept. 20-27 in Forsyth Park (and at various other venues).
Allison, 81, has been an influence on many musicians throughout the decades – Van Morrison cut an entire album of his songs – and he wrote the classics “Young Man Blues,” “I’m Not Talking” and “Parchman Farm.” In earlier times, the Mississippi delta native played with such artists as Stan Getz, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan.
There’s a whole lotta jazz on the festival docket, of all variety. Among the scheduled performers: Grace Kelly, Ben Riley Trio featuring guitarist Jim Hall, the Savannah Jazz Orchestra featuring Doug Carn, Longineu Parsons & Flight of the Vultures, The FlyCats, International Groove Conspiracy, the Jazz Corner All-Stars Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame All-Stars … and area legends Ben Tucker, Howard Paul, Teddy Adams and Huxsie Scott.