The Jazzcat

Michele Ndegeocello and Spirit Music Jamia

by on Jul.04, 2005, under News

Slide Show


El Rey Theater. I remember this place from back in the day when I used

to come here and get my groove on in a different way. This used to be

the place for one of the hottest night clubs around. It still holds its

charm and character to this day and tonight, once again, I will be

getting my groove on!


I was at the Orlando Hotel here in Los Angeles

earlier today, where the cool and hip players hang, interviewing one of

the tenors of our time Mr. Ron Blake. He is part of a dynamic horn

section that Michele Ndegeocello has in store for us for her “Spirit

Music Jamia” band. Tonight’s concert certainly has its jazz influences

but, there is much much more. Soul, peace, love, rhythm, rock and some

serious funk are just a few ingredients for the musical rue.image

The sound system is stacked and ready to

capture souls with its thunderous pulse. There was a DJ spinning funky

dance tunes preparing the crowd for the mental and physical movement

that was about to take place. Little did we know that he would be part

of mix of the music that would contribute to the Spirit Music Jamia



Tonight’s performance was promoted by KCRW and

they cater to quite an eclectic variety of taste. The players appeared

on stage and the horn section of Ron Blake, Kebby Williams and Oliver Lake

kicked off the vibe along with drummer Chris Dave. Chris is a player

that is used to getting’ down with the best of horns. He used to bang

with Kenny Garrett and the drummer was always given some! Michael Cain

laid down some thick harmonic grooves on electric piano and when the

bass line started, the El Rey was ready to swing into full Tilt! All

eyes closed, all heads swayin’, the connection begins!


Three horns, two percussionist, electric piano,

one DJ and everlasting BASS like chocolate Nutella funk, rich and

delicious! The power of the drums and the low funky pulse of Michele

tucked away and running the show peacefully from the rear. It is not

about being on the corner Front and Hype Street, it is about making music and Michele is perched very comfortably in the rear where the existence of life is in the pocket.


After a few tunes she takes hold of the

microphone and gives peace and blessings to the audience. Shortly

thereafter, she is joined by Oran, one of the musical members of the Coltrane Clan. Michele and Oran collaborated on this particular piece and he whipped out his guitar. Jim Hall, no, Jim Hendrix, yes!


The epicenter is the El Rey and the kick drum is

the fault. The intense sound vibrates the floor, the Richter is rockin,

and we are all grounded in the funk. DJ Jahi Sundance weaves the tunes

together in a fabric that only Miles could get away with wearing. The

velocity and force are as intense as a panther chasing his prey with in

the background, the words of Martin Luther ring in the mix.


No doubt music for a free mind and an open ear. I have been told that this band rocked New York and Europe

the same way. No encore here in LA though. I am sure that the crowd

enjoyed the music and I know that they got it. They just have to learn

how to let go and return the love.



LeRoy Downs

Leave a Reply

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...