Words by Dan Schaffel
The homecoming of Nigel Hall was nothing short of a warm and special Saturday night in downtown New York City on January 26th. A guest appearance from friend Corey Glover of Living Colour, and a cover of Paul Simon’s ‘God Bless the Absentee’ were just a few high points of the evening as Nigel & Co. carved a cornerstone into their career for the scene at Sullivan Hall.
With Hall leading his pack, the band’s progressive jazz fusion jams had Sullivan Street swaying along in soulful harmony throughout the set. Songs hit booming lows with drum and bass solos as well as soaring peaks via a wailing electric guitar. Those elements, along with Hall’s formidable Fender Rhodes, came to fruition on the most outstanding song of the night, ‘Have Mercy’.
Vocal ability was at its pinnacle not just for Nigel, but for everyone in the band. No complement of voices went unnoticed – layering was left, right, and dynamite. Overall the spotlight however focused on the ringleader’s mic, as he power-drilled his velvety voice deep into the mind.
The fan-funky-tastic moments kept on coming, including the playful call-and-response lines tossed about like “Put you in the layaway!”, a common thread Hall came back to a handful of times in the set. Feeding off the audience’s energy, he even extended an intro to address the crowd’s timing of their response at one point.
Though Mr. Hall says he seldom visits NYC these days, performances such as this should have him booking more frequent appearances. The comfort he exudes in the presence of familiar faces is what allows him to lead his band into the tight execution of their material.
TheWaster.com | New York City