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Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

George Duke, Kirk Whalum & Sunshine Anderson
@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
13 May 2007

Click an image to enlarge.

The beauty and charm of Pigeon Island during the day, or night, never fails to excite the senses. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Caribbean Sea on the other, delicately lit palm trees gently kissing the sky, combined with the anticipation of a tremendous musical experience is surely enough to warm the coolest hearts.

If I had to choose one instrument that epitomises St. Lucia Jazz, it would be the saxophone. The heady mix of sun, sea and sax is a sure fire winner at any venue throughout the festival.

Sunshine Anderson

The aptly named ‘Sunshine’ Anderson bounded on stage, arms and hips swaying, as though she were on a Paris, Milan, London catwalk… Unfortunately Anderson’s vocals were not as forthcoming as her stage presence. In fact her vocals were almost non-existent during her first two songs. Admittedly there did appear to be technical problems, but I was no more than a stone throw from the stage, so I should have been able to hear something. Still, Anderson persevered with her don’t mess with me; independent woman attitude, coupled with grand support from George Duke on keys (and a lone loud Pigeon Island patron). An overall subdued Pigeon Island crowd eventually welcomed Anderson’s 2001 R&B hit “Heard it all before”.

Kirk Whalum

Whalum’s confident saunter onto the Pigeon Island stage was one of a man who definitely had nothing to prove. His Julius Keilwerth tenor proudly strapped in front of body oozed distinctive sax appeal. By now the afternoon sun was at its peek as Whalum let loose his sweet soul / gospel powered sax session. Patrons simply rode the many magnificently crafted waves created by Whalum. He simply looked at home here, whether standing, sitting or leaping down from stage to be as one with his captivated audience. Whalum generously shared the stage with George Duke and Sunshine Anderson at various points throughout this session, but at no point did his audience ever forget he was there.

Kirk Whalum interview with Carole Clemesha

Kirk Whalum with Carole Clemesha

This smiling Memphis-born saxophonist came bounding over and was only too happy to talk about his musical beginning. He drew his inspiration from the rich musical traditions of that city, including gospel and R&B.

Whalum confesses that at first “he was just messing about with the saxophone”… until he heard legendary saxman Arnett Cobb. Whalum explained, “He was a profound influence on me. He played as if he was about to die”.

Kirk Whalum with Carole Clemesha

Whalum has performed in St Lucia once before, just to play at a birthday party. He has also accompanied Whitney Houston for her London gigs. His new album, “Round Trip”, is all about taking time… whilst clasping your reporter’s hand… looking into my eyes (swoon!), ‘like maturing love’.

 

 

 

George Duke

Californian born George Duke began playing the piano at age seven, after seeing Duke Ellington in concert. He absorbed the roots of Black music in his local Baptist church where he first began to create his now renowned funky fusion fireworks. Music lovers of many diverse genres have absorbed Duke’s legacy of 70’s – 80’s soul funk fusion. Duke’s drive and energy still has a profound influence on many newcomers as well as his predecessors still in the business of making music today. Duke has performed with the likes of Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie and Stanley Clarke during the 70’s; a time that was filled with musical experimentation. Duke was musical director for the Soul Train Awards in the 90's and has written songs for the likes of Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau and Regina Belle, and produced albums for Rachelle Ferrell and Diane Reeves to name but a few. Duke received the coveted Edison Life Time Achievement Award in Rotterdam in 2005.

Duke’s comical antics had his mesmerised audience in stitches of laughter as he played his keyboard with right hand only, first with his head in the other hand, then down on his knees. He then simulated the first stages of lovemaking to his ‘instrument’ before being nudged out of his reverie by Whalum…and back to the “funk, funk and more funk”. His exuberant homage to James Brown “Gonna Have A Funky Good Time” went down a storm (not literally thankfully). By now the superheated Pigeon Island patrons were screaming for more… Even the likes of Sunshine Anderson appeared to find her voice amongst Duke’s hardworking backing singers.

Musicians:
Geroge Duke – keyboards / vocals
Kirk Whalum – saxophone
Sunshine Anderson – vocals

Robin Francis & Carole Clemesha
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.

 

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum Kirk Whalum

George Duke

George Duke Kirk Whalum

George Duke

George Duke George Duke

Pigeon Island patrons

Pigeon Island patrons

Pigeon Island patrons Pigeon Island patrons

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

Sunshine Anderson

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum


Recommended
Listening

 

George Duke - Is Love Enough George Duke - After Hours George Duke - Duke George Duke - Illusions
George Duke - Cool George Duke - Face The Music George Duke - Greatest Hits George Duke - The 1976 solo keyboard album
George Duke - A Brazilian Love Afair George Duke - Don't Let Go George Duke - Master Of The Game George Duke - Don't Let Go
George Duke - This is Jazz George Duke - Snapshot Billy Cobham / George Duke Band -  Live on tour in Europe George Duke - Reach For It
George Duke - Muir Woods Suite George Duke - Three Originals Kirk Whalum - Kirk Whalum Performs the Babyface Songbook Kirk Whalum - For You
Kirk Whalum - Color Kirk Whalum - In This Life Kirk Whalum - Floppy Disk Kirk Whalum - Cache
Kirk Whalum - And You Know That Kirk Whalum - The Gospel According To Jazz Kirk Whalum - Into My Soul Kirk Whalum - Hymns In The Garden
Kirk Whalum - The Christmas Message Bob James + Kirk Whalum - Joined At The Hip Kirk Whalum - The Promise Kirk Whalum - Unconditional

 

Further
Recommended
Listening

Click George Duke's image to read his Tribute...
Click Kirk Whalum's image to view his photographs at the Union Chapel, London...
Click Gerald Albright's album to view his photographs and read his review...

George Duke's Tribute (Click to go to his page) Kirk Whalum @ the Union Chapel, London (Click to go to his page) Gerald Albright - Live To Love (Click to go to his page)

Go back to the St. Lucia Jazz Festival 2007 home page.

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