Music can be a form of perfection - with nothing added or subtracted, flawless just the way it is.

Bobby McFerrin & Wynton Marsalis

22. January 2014 Bobby, McFerrin, collaboration, concert, Jazz, Jazz, at, Lincoln, Center, Wynton, Marsalis

Photo by Frank Stewart

Back in October 2012, in my post about Bobby McFerrin I mentioned I attended a concert in New York, but never talked more about it, so I wanted to do that now.
Last September I went on a trip through New York, Washington and my beloved New Orleans (you can check out the photos on my website). As was my wish for years, I wanted to see where jazz was born. Just days before my departure to New York, I found that Wynton Marsalis and JALC were performing with Bobby McFerrin. I had to double check, because I could not believe my eyes. I was ecstatic. Two of my favourite artists performing together?! What a way to start the trip that was already meant to be all about music anyway.
The venue - Lincoln Center in The Time Warner Center on the 60th street - was so beautiful, sophisticated and classy. Some don’t care about that, but I always appreciate a nice atmosphere at a concert. The concert’s theme was Bobby McFerrin’s biography, but I felt that wasn’t exactly the main thing of the night, it was more of a way to convey this great collaboration. I mentioned Jazz at Lincoln Center in one of my previous posts and they are truly amazing. It’s a band consisting of only great musicians and I really enjoy their sound and like pretty much anything they do. At the concert it felt like they could make anyone sound awesome, let alone Bobby McFerrin. I am a great admirer of both Bobby McFerrin and Wynton Marsalis, and this was probably one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. In hindsight I would, however, like to see Bobby do more of his usual crazy stuff and Wynton solo more. But nevertheless, the concert was magical just the way it was. The band and Bobby just clicked on so many levels and I guess that’s the result of Bobby blending in more and not doing his usual stuff to the fullest potential.
I was so thankful to be able to listen to their rich sound in person. It was so intense, I remember getting emotional and filled with such happiness throughout the concert. Ah, I can’t wait the next time I’m going to hear Wynton or Bobby live again.
I highly recommend you listen to the whole concert, I believe it’s well worth it. But if you don’t have the time, or are not interested, here are a few excerpts.

Beautiful rendition of George Gershwin’s Prelude No. 2. It’s evident right away, how well they they go together, Bobby and JALC.

Charlie Parker’s Donna Lee, and the only time at the concert where Wynton and Bobby directly interact with each other. And it is golden! If you’ll listen to only one song, listen to this one. Their duet always brings a smile on my face, it’s just soo good!!! I love it.

They performed this concerts a couple of nights in a row. I was there on the opening night and the video on youtube is from one of the following nights. There are minor differences, but there is also one major one. On the opening night, there was Paul Simon in the audience and after the intermission, Mr McFerrin called him up on stage to sing Scarborough Fair with him. At first he was really reluctant and didn’t want to come up, and we all really thought he wouldn’t. But after a lot of convincing from the audience, Paul came up. That’s right. Paul freakin’ Simon! Just when I thought the night can’t get any better… Needless to say, it was the highlight of the concert. Beautiful, magical, mysterious and heartwarming.
Here is a version without Paul, beautiful as well.

And finally some crazy Bobby McFerrin stuff - here he sings Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. I know right, who on earth sings this?
At the concert I attended, Bobby sang solo a capella version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow for encore. Genius!
I’ll say it again, I strongly recommend you take an hour and forty minutes for yourself and enjoy this beautiful performance. I think Bobby McFerrin and Wynton Marsalis have some special energy between them and you can hear it firsthand.
It’s actually one of my wishes, that they record an album together. They’re just so amazing together. Listen to a song they recorded together on one of Wynton’s albums - Baby, I Love You. The kind of chemistry they have is simply infectious.

What about you, what do you think? Thoughts on the concert, Bobby, Wynton, JALC, the post? As I always, I encourage you to share your comments.

Until next time everyone.

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