Basil Walters, Observer staff reporter
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
It certainly was not a night of "long story short", as Benjy Myaz called his last album released three years ago. On the contrary, with the help of friends singers A'Lisa, Charmaine Limonius and the Guyanese born saxophonist Courtney Fadlin, Myaz, the artiste, on Friday, gave the full length at the Red Bones Blues Café.
A singer, bass player and producer, Benjy delivered a most electic set covering a wide range of moods from a twist of blues, modern contemporary jazz, neo-classic soul to hardcore reggae. In the intimate setting, it was made for easy listening.
Beginning his stint rather slowly with a string of cool instrumentals, his jazz flavoured groove of People Make the World Go Round, defined the tone the show would take.
"Red Bones, how you doing, hope you're having a good time, Welcome Connie and Sherina on the bandstand," Myaz greeted patrons who received him warmly.
He then introduced his first guest for the night, saxophonist, Courtney Fadlin. The Atlanta-based hornsman and Berklee College graduate, who is on a teaching stint at the Edna Manley College for the Performing Arts, featured on Stevie Wonder's Creeping - it was a combination of beautiful elements of smooth jazz skillfully played.
This patron was caught up in the great music delivered by Myaz and Friends.
Even though at times not getting the best out of his voice, more soothing, inspiring selections came in the form of a polished rendition of There's No Sunshine When She's Gone, Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart (the first vocal offering of the night by Benjy Myaz) Just My Imagination, My Girl, Anniversary, Love Is Where You Find It.
After a short interval, Benjy Myaz continued to tickle the mind with his vocalisation of Give A Little More Loving. Then it was time for some rocking reggae numbers such as My Father, My Friend, Give It Up (True Love), Leave It To Time and I Love You Higher featuring Courtney Fadlin.
Armed with her guitar, the chripy multi-lingual Charmaine Limonius gave a spirited performance in English and Spanish of How Could I Leave, and Tonight in tandem with Benjy Myaz.
Next up was A'Lisa with Visa Versy Love, the Dennis Brown's classic, Love and Hate, Too Experienced, and Beres Hammond's Can You Play Some More.
"The whole thing was to bring out a certain texture which is not the norm, to play old songs with a modern twist. This is a contemporary jazz kind of vibes. It is a reflection of what my instrumental album is going to be like. The album which is going to come out very soon. It is called You Got Me. But we're going to have more roots reggae rocking tracks with that kind of melody on top," Benjy Myaz told the Observer.