Berks Jazz Fest 2012: Boney James

Friday evening was kicked off by Boney James at the Scottish Rite Cathedral who apparently did his 10th show at this festival, the house was packed and Boney did what he always does - deliver a solid show of urban grooves and smooth saxophone playing, supported by a top notch band. Among the players was bassist Dwayne "Smitty" Smith and keyboardist Mark Stephens, who really impressed me with his star-studded latest CD The Dream Of The Peaceful Warrior. The crowd connected quickly and there was this inexplicable feeling of mutual bond that Boney creates, every song was warmly received, he did a walk into the audience and played standing on one of the seats to the cheering crowd. For other, more romantic tracks, he selected a woman from the audience who had the privilege to hold his hand while he played or just was serenaded with his playing. Among the songs played was "All Night Long", Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'", Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" plus a host of songs from his vast catalog, they wrapped up the concert with "Grazing In The Grass". With a Boney show, you'll know what you get, and they delivered once again.