Live! | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

Live! 

KIRK WHALUM with COREY PARKER

Wednesday, Oct. 30 Carolina Theatre, Durham

From the opener "All I Need Is You" to the soul-stirring "Amazing Grace" encore, listening to Kirk Whalum was an encounter with one of the best saxophonists on the scene today. For almost two hours, Kirk "Have Saxophone Will Travel" Whalum fellowshipped with an almost sellout crowd at the Carolina Theatre, turning the performance hall into his own family music room, with a thousand of his closest friends.

This was truly a family show, with performances by brother Kevin Whalum (oh what a voice!), opening act Corey Parker (yes, Maceo's boy) and Parker's brother, Damien, joining Whalum on drums. And Whalum not only featured his band members prominently during the solo sets of his songs, he also allowed bubbly bassist Mike Manson to perform Outer Drive from Manson's soon-to-be-released CD The Bottom Line--I'm saving my little pennies now for that one--and that's not all, y'all.

While his live version of the title track off the Unconditional CD had folks happily bouncing in their chairs, his smooth jazz version of Maxwell's R&B hit Ascension had them quickly rising out of their seats. And just when folks thought (and I overheard this) "it doesn't get much better than this," Kirk proved them wrong by introducing his younger brother, Kevin. Jon Hendricks, Al Jarreau, Will Downing ... Kevin Whalum. That's the comparison and I'll stick by it. He's that good! The junior Whalum hit us with his flexibility, range, and just downright great singing in the song "TaTa Jesus (Thank you Jesus)," a song that was inspired by his child's mispronunciation of the words "thank you" (which explained Whalum's cute child-like mannerisms as he sang). Kevin's rendition of Bill Withers' "Use Me" also allowed him to show off his storytelling and singing skills. Tired yet? There's more.

Of course Kirk had to play Stevie's (the wonder) "All I Do," which called for a real female vocalist. Enter, North Carolina's own Barbara Weathers (formerly of Atlantic Starr, and Corvacus). This lady can SANG y'all (and she's fine too)! Whalum and Weathers followed with duets of some of her biggest hits, "If Your Heart isn't in It" and "Always," while audience members sang along. It was down right therapeutic. In "Venus," Whalum interplayed with the guitarist and Kirk--The Energizer Bunny--Whalum ended up in the audience standing on a seat (what a showman!).

For the encore performance, Whalum brought Weathers and Kevin back on stage to sing the moving "Thy Kingdom Come," using the audience as his chorus. During a rendition of "Amazing Grace," the audience swayed and hugged, their souls clearly touched. That's the kind of musical we had in Kirk's family music room: Soulful Grace.

The Gospel According to Jazz Part II is in stores now and Whalum's tour has also begun with BWB (Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun). Visit www.kirkwhalum.com.

--Brett E. Chambers

  • KIRK WHALUM with COREY PARKER

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music Feature



Twitter Activity

Comments

Awesome man of God! In our third week of revival,and he's now a part of our church! We love the …

by Sherra on Young bluesman Slick Ballinger turns to the gospel; keeps promises to family (Music Feature)

I met Bill Ferris when I was an undergrad at Ole Miss.(Univ. of Mississippi, Oxford.) I had met James Son …

by Jupitor on For six decades, folklorist Bill Ferris has broken some of the country's biggest racial barriers. Now, he's sharing the South's story with the world (Music Feature)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Awesome man of God! In our third week of revival,and he's now a part of our church! We love the …

by Sherra on Young bluesman Slick Ballinger turns to the gospel; keeps promises to family (Music Feature)

I met Bill Ferris when I was an undergrad at Ole Miss.(Univ. of Mississippi, Oxford.) I had met James Son …

by Jupitor on For six decades, folklorist Bill Ferris has broken some of the country's biggest racial barriers. Now, he's sharing the South's story with the world (Music Feature)

Also, someone said they didn't know Kelly but knew "Kelly's wife..." For the record, Kelly was never married-to anyone at …

by Chuck Harrell on Cry of Love vocalist Kelly Holland died depressed, but not alone (Music Feature)

I thought it best not to respond to comments here because I contributed to the piece by being interviewed. After …

by Chuck Harrell on Cry of Love vocalist Kelly Holland died depressed, but not alone (Music Feature)

wow. That's amazing. I saw them a few years ago as the boyfriends and I predicted she would have an …

by Bluetrain on With Blue Cactus, Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez Embrace the Gaudy Trappings and Heavyweight Emotion of Classic Country Music (Music Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation