Berks Jazz Fest 2013: Maysa

At 2pm, Maysa was headlining her own show tagged as Maysa & Her Jazz Funk Soul Symphony, the first time she actually appeared under how own name, until now she just has been guesting with other artists, so she took the opportunity to give us something really special. The stage was crammed with players, the band consisted of four string players, a three piece horn section, two keyboard players (one doubling on flute), percussion, drums, bass, guitar, plus two additional vocalists. They started with a nice latin track with some great flute playing, followed by "Hooked On Your Love", then her classic "Out Of The Blue" followed, a song she wrote when her son was prematurely born, then one of my favorites, the mesmerizing "Hypnotic Love", which was nicely grooving along, the groove picked up again with "Pressure" having almost an Incognito feeling. In general I had the impression that her songs owe a lot to Bluey and Incognito, that is the school she went through and an ongoing connection that is still very strong, even the instrumentation retains many ingredients of the Incognito sound, especially the strong horn section, which provided several great solos. Another nice one was "Honey Bee", slowing down the pace, allowing her voice to shine, the first set was ended with the introspective "Can We Change The World".

Part two of the show continued with Gil Scott-Heron's "The Bottle", then she did "Come Dance With Me" inspired by a broken up relationship, followed by Angela Bofill's "I Try" doing it justice, pulling all the stops, then some old school was due with a nice medley consisting among others of "Wishing On A Star" and "Zoom", which was well received, followed by a disco medley of songs like "Last Night A DJ Saved My Live", "Just A Touch Of Love" and more, recreating the spirit of that era nicely, before she went back to her own material with "Deep Waters", segueing into "I Will Always Love You", then "Love To Love You Baby", complete with a subtle rap part by Maysa, later culminating in shouting, moaning and scatting, which was a real musical journey and musical treat, this climax marked the end of a remarkable show by one of the best singers in the business.