[Dixielandjazz] "Every Day I Have The Blues"
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 8 07:13:56 PDT 2005
A little off beat, but here's an indication of what the young audience in
the USA also appreciates musically these days. Think I'll check out his show
tonight in Atlantic City.
The success of the John Mayer trio proves that the young audience for
today's music is not totally about rap & hip hop.
Rock mixed with jazz, pop and even an appearance by Roy Hargrove.
A Pop Idol Who Flirts Just a Little With Grit
By LAURA SINAGRA October 8, 2005 NY Times
When John Mayer appeared on "The Dave Chappelle Show," he performed a sketch
trying to show that white people react to guitars the way black people react
to drumbeats. That appearance showed that Mr. Mayer, the soft-rock lover boy
behind treacle like "Your Body Is a Wonderland," could laugh at his own
often unbearable lightness.
Now this million-selling purveyor of pop rooted in syncopated jazz chords is
after something different: the grit and muscularity of the blues. At the
Beacon Theater on Thursday, he and his trio, featuring experienced studio
musicians - Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino on bass - offered a set
of blues covers and bluesy reworkings of his songs that stressed wide-eyed
admiration over an obsession with authenticity.
Mr. Mayer, a low-key but cocky heartthrob, began with "Every Day I Have the
Blues" and its claim "Nobody loves me, nobody seems to care" over
ear-splitting fan shrieks.
Over the next hour, however, Mr. Mayer did challenge his fans' tolerance for
solos. While he never strayed too far from the jam-rock of Dave Matthews and
often sang like Sting, his schoolboyish zeal to trot out every lick he knew
had some audience members leaving early.
Mr. Mayer plays competent blues guitar in the fiery Buddy Guy style. But
over Mr. Jordan's solid snare thwaps and Mr. Palladino's reliable,
tempo-goosing bass, his best solos had a pop tinge. Improvisations over the
breezy changes in "Vultures" and his sliding lines over the rougher
"Gravity" were highlights. Another of the night's wake-up blasts came from
an appearance by the jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. As Mr. Mayer vamped
contentedly, Mr. Hargrove worked up to sustained blares as the rhythm
section kicked in with verve.
The most exciting moment was courtesy of Mr. Mayer's willingness to indulge
in today's mashed-up pop. He has worked with hip-hop figures like Kanye
West, and when his trio performed Ray Charles's "I Got a Woman," Mr. Jordan
played the beat from Mr. West's current hit "Gold Digger." Mr. West's rap
features a snippet of Jamie Foxx in "Ray" mode, emoting in ecstatic
falsetto, "She gives me money when I'm in need." When Mr. Mayer sang that
raspy line, over Mr. Jordan's hip-hop whip cracks, he jolted the crowd back
into familiar radio territory. Near the end, his guitar echoed Mr. West's
climactic "Get down girl, go ahead get down," thrillingly completing the
musical sample circle.
This is the kind of change-up that gets Mr. Mayer respect from the hip-hop
world. His encore, the ballad sing-along "Daughters," was rearranged to be
more brash than meditative to suit his latest quest, but still embodied the
kind of mannish cutesiness that keeps the fans crying and buying.
The John Mayer Trio plays tonight at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spain
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