Part Two

He introduced the excellent keyboard player and singer at length - fired from Michael Jackson, worked with Steve Wonder. “You’ve said everything except my name,” said affable, young Greg Philinganes, after which his name remained unannounced.
While HH remains cutting edge after more than fifty years in the busines oratory is not one of his skills. Having a brain the size of a small planet does not make you a public speaker. Unless you’re Billy Connolly you can’t just open your mouth. Fortunately this was a very minor blemish on a triumphant evening. If Mr Hancock were perfect it would leave no room for God, as the Eastern saying nearly goes.

James Genus on fretless bass was a delight throughout, even managing to keep pace with HH’s synthaxe wizardry in a how-many-notes-can-you-play off. Trevor Lawrence jnr on drums was a funk powerhouse with a beautiful sound.
Kristina Train is an astonishing soul singer and she also provided the folk violin on The Times They Are A Changing. Sorry to gripe but her reading of Don’t Give Up had so much swooping and whooping (‘virtuoso melisma’ if you like that approach) that the title was incomprehensible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen world class soul singing coming from someone with their hands in their pockets. I don’t want to see it again. Surely this is too L.A.aid back? It's a little strange she appears diffident while singing with leonine power and beauty. Maybe it’s understandable to be overawed by such a mighty backing band.

Guitarist Lionel Loueke sang the mashed major third/minor third Islamic-sounding theme of Tamatant Tilay/ Exodus brilliantly, many of us joining in the hypnotically catchy Exodus chant. He was great although I’m not a big fan of synth guitars sounding like steel pans, which they don’t quite. Jeff Beck used a limpid, singing guitar tone on the CD - musicians making the best of their instruments' natural resources, maybe it’ll catch on.
It was a shame not to see more young people there. Three fifths of the band had shiny heads as did most of the male audience members. Pink is utterly superb on the CD, a wailing soul siren, but
it would seem that working with the new stars doesn't necessarily win over a new audience, not tonight anyway.
Sorry for the tough love, and it is love, but could someone put a Public Speaking for Dummies in his Christmas stocking? He’d master it instantly, as he’s mastered everything else.

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