With that said, at BB King's Blues Club in New York City on Monday night, soul music was definitely alive and kicking in full force. The Jazzy Soul Collective - consisting of saxophonist Jimmy Sommers, vocalist Lynne Fiddmont, recent Grammy nominee Vikter Duplaix and Grammy winning songwriter and vocalist Gordon Chambers reminded the audience that soul music never left and is here to stay for a time to come.
Being the first to take the stage, Lynne Fiddmont stepped to the forefront to show off her vocal ability to its full potential. The highlight for Lynn was her duet with Gordon Chambers on his track "To Love Again" (originally covered by Gordon with Ledisi). However throughout her set, like with the duet, Lynn's beautifully wispy and airy voice was swallowed by the music. An unfortunate happenstance for a singer whose phenomenal debut album would have been a treat to hear come alive.
Following Lynn was sax man extraordinaire Jimmy Sommers. Bantering playfully with the crowd, Jimmy soulfully cruised through crowd favorites. It was evident everyone was feeling the groove while they were bobbing their head in unison to the flow of the saxophone on "360 In The Groove." During his set, Jimmy invited two singers from the crowd to sing backup and they were on point with the band, following every cue given. However when Vikter Duplaix stepped on stage, everyone was ready to feel and ride the vibe.
Vikter sang his Grammy nominated track "Make A Baby," which had the audience in a trance. And then to follow that up with a soulful rendition of "If I Knew" featuring Jimmy Sommers - it could have very well been the end of the night. The only downfall with Vikter's set, is that it was too short, leaving a lot of us wanting for more.
They most definitely saved the best for last: Gordon Chambers took the audience by the hand on a journey to remember. Opening with "Can I Touch You" and singing the up-tempo track "Happy" had everyone in their seats swaying and clapping to the beat. Channeling his Al Green, Gordon belted out a short rendition of "Let's Stay Together" which then segued into "Stay." Seated in front of the piano, he belted snippets of a few of his songs written for different artists such as "I Apologize" sung by Anita Baker and "No More Rain" sung by Angie Stone. After a rousing church version of a song written for the late great Luther Vandross and sought by the late incomparable Gerald Levert entitled, "I'll Miss You The Most," Gordon closed his set with Lynne crooning "To Love Again."
Gordon Chambers said it best during his performance. He said, "We are on our own labels because this is a labor of love. We do it to put the romance back in music." The above statement alone is one of the many reasons why soul music will never die. The labor of love injected into the music by independent artists like these are enough of a reason to go out and buy, listen to and support them. You surely do not know what you are missing.
By Ann Marie Collymore