Flanked by bassist Dave Holland, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, guitarist Lionel Loueke, saxophonist Chris Potter (taking Wayne Shorter’s place on the tour), and featured vocalists Amy Keys and Sonya Kitchell, Herbie Hancock put on a wonderful performance last night during his Wolf Trap debut.
I was particularly blown away by Keys and Kitchell who are charged with the difficult task of re-creating vocal contributions from Tina Turner, Joss Stone, and Christina Aguilera (to name a few) on Hancock's album of the year winning River: The Joni Letters, and his prior release titled Possibilities. On Possibilities, Joss Stone handles vocal duties for B.B. King's "When Love Came to Town," and while I'll absolutely admit that Stone's raw, soulful vocal prowess is a perfect commercially viable fit for this tune, Amy Keys absolutely CRUSHED it live. I was sitting in the press office during this song catching up on my email, and I almost fell out of my chair when she hit the first chorus. Roughly 24 hours after B.B. King left the Filene Center on Sunday, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt the reverberations of Key's vibrato from hundreds of miles away.
Keep an eye on Amy Keys, she has quite a career in front of her...not to say that it hasn't been impressive already, having been crowned Ms. Maryland, and touring the world with Phil Collins and Herbie Hancock.
The set was heavy with numbers from Possibilities and River, highlighted by the latter's title track, and "Edith and the Kingpin." I wasn't around for the very end, but I heard Herbie closed with one of his classics, the jazz-standard tune titled Chameleon, which probably resonated very well with his old-school fan base. In summation, the 90 minutes that I heard was exactly what you'd expect from one of history's great jazz pioneers - close to perfection.
I plan to post extensively tomorrow about my Virgin Mobile Festival experience this past weekend, complete with photos and brief (some more than others) reviews of acts I caught. So check back in with me tomorrow in the p.m.