Robin McKelle’s performance at the Meyreuil Blues Festival on September 12, 2021 having been fantastic, it is without too much risk that we return to see her at the Artplexe Canebière, Marseille, on March 30. At home then, in an unknown room: the Artplexe that we discover. Superb room and perfect acoustics; cozy atmosphere. In one of the rooms of the place, a cinema too, versatile and suitable for conversion; a place which, according to the director, should receive other female voices, other Jazz-women. Programming to follow!
Robin was just as perfect as in Meyreuil with a slightly different atmosphere. Less bluesy and more jazzy. And, always, this choice of covers, of choice precisely, reflecting the subtle taste of this great singer. Unsurprisingly, his latest album “Alter-ations” is the backbone of the show. She and her band will play eight of the nine songs that make up the disc.
The one besides begins with a superb version of “Back To Black” by Amy Winehouse, followed by “Head High” as on the album. The live is an opportunity to see that the hyphen of the title of the LP is not innocent: it rubs shoulders with other singers like so many alter-egos. Without egocentrism, just beautiful sincere tributes to admired sisters. And on stage, it’s obvious. We will therefore be entitled to “Jolene” by Dolly Parton or “Mercedes Benz” by Joplin or even “River” by Joni Mitchell. Side “personal” songs an always poignant “Simple Man” which tells the fate of the emigrants in the USA through the example of his grandfather. Moving.
Impossible to ignore, the three brilliant “Cats” who accompany him: Jonathan Thomas on piano, Kyle Miles on acoustic and electric bass and Adam Jackson on drums, a dream group for this magnificent voice and presence. . “My One and Only” is performed by Jonathan and Robin alone, a new opportunity to see that he is an exceptional pianist. There will also be a solo piano interlude and vocals by Robin.
They will also play “No Ordinary Love” by Sade or “Don’t Explain” by Billie Holliday. About fifteen songs in all sung with passion by this great voice and her classy musicians. And what a voice! The show ended; Robin signs his albums with kindness which does not spoil anything. In the end, a superb evening. Thanks to Robin and his superb trio.