On the scene last Friday night for the fabulous, dynamic R&B and Jazz vocalist RACHELLE FERRELL’s one night only stellar performance at Yoshi’s San Francisco! The lady will blow you away with her 6 octave singing range - Minnie Riperton like wailing! Despite a lingering cold, the SISTA’ delivered magnificently! Backed by a terrific band, foot tappin’ rhythms - Ferrell described as OLD SCHOOL SCRATCH! Brandon Coleman on keyboards, guitarist Billy Younger, drummer Ricardo Jordan, Wayman McKinley on bass.
Ferrell needed something to soothe her throat. HOT TODDY, a lil tea, brandy, became part of the evening repertoire - humorous, pumped her up in dialogue with a few men in the audience. We loved it!
Ferrell hasn’t had a new album in years, true fans were in the house! A soulful, spiritual performer, the audience embraced the essence of this beautiful SISTA’ - showing off her Afro-centric hairstyle - thick black hair twisted in full bold curls - comfortable in a white tunic over black tights, black boots. One felt her soul, passion, mesmerizing - afraid to move in applause until she released you with the last sultry vocal note. She’s got that kinda’ power!
Ferrell’s awesome rendition of Rodgers and Hart classic, “My Funny Valentine,” took us back to her early Jazz stylings, and swinging on “Bye-Bye BlackBird,” scatting as well - snapped my fingers - Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! Wish she would do more Jazz but love her R&B ballad styling as well. My first intro to the lady, she was doing Jazz! But off the charts with self-titled “Rachelle Ferrell,” 1992 release.
From 1975-90, Ferrell sang backup for Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, and George Duke. Her debut “First instrument,” was the talk of the jazz world, released in 1990 in Japan, five years prior to its US release. Recorded with bassist Tyrone Brown, pianist Eddie Green and drummer Doug Nally, several famed jazz accompanists also recorded on her album. Japanese jazz audience love her.
Ferrell shared she’s working on a new CD, excited, entitled “The Art and Soul of Rachelle Ferrell,” which she did one cut from the work in progress. Much to the delight of the audience, she DID the song “Nothing Ever Felt Like This,” the striking duet big hit with Will Downing on her 1992 debut album. A for real drippy love song! She IMPROVISED Downing’s deep bass part, which she usually sings, getting the men to sing the words, a slow “Yeah, Baby I love you!” One guy hollered, “HALLELUJAH”! MISS FERRELL ROCKED THE HOUSE!
As is my usual habit, ran backstage to enthusiastically greet her, received a warm welcome, SNAPPED the picture you see. Ferrell is one of my favorite female singers, since first hearing her at Oakland Yoshi’s in early 90s !!!
What was so surprising about Friday night, The QUEEN OF NEO-SOUL hip hop, funk singer, DJ LO DOWN ERYKAH BADU spunned DJ sounds in the lounge - hip folks who like her flavor, lined around the exterior of Yoshi’s for the special 10 o’clock show! Ferrell was in the showroom. I tell you, Yoshi’s got it going on with a cultural music mix! HEADS UP - PEABO BRYSON will headline the first week in June!
THE GOLDEN GATE WARRIORS got my attention - won a nail-biting NBA Play-Off Series to beat the Denver Nuggets. I’m soooo excited over guard STEPHEN CURRY’S THIRD QUARTER FIRE! Now taking on the San Antonio Spurs, LOST Monday night, after 2 overtime plays!. OK, Warrior Head Coach Mark Jackson and the team can win tonight before a home crowd! LET’S DO IT!!!
HEY, IT’S NICE TO BE NICE AND TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE...LOOK FOR ME...I’LL BE THERE....
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