diana ross as great as ever

So I did this very large private party gig a couple weeks ago, and I'm just getting around to writing this quick little blog about it.

I contracted a band, wrote a bunch of charts and played drums - we backed a singer named Alexander Kogan, who sang a mix of pop tunes. He was great - the audience loved us, it was fun, and writing the charts was a big challenge cause it had to happen fast.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about. In addition to us, there were a bunch of other musical acts, the most well known being Diana Ross.

She was GREAT. I was floored. She hit the stage like she was 25 or something - lots of good energy. singing great, working the room. I think her voice sounds better than ever - it's slightly huskier with age, (she's 67 or 68), and she uses a little less vibrato. All the tunes were in the original keys, so she hasn't lost any range evidently.

It was a small audience for an artist like her, but Diana performed and behaved like it was a sold out stadium. It was as if it was 1965 and Berry Gordy was in the first row busting her chops to be a pro and do a good show no matter what! old school.

And the tunes - wow, it's easy to forget just how many great ones there were and how big they were. insane.

On drums was the great Gerry Brown, who has loads of chops and ideas, but played ONLY the music, with perfect time, groove, dynamics and spirit. it was a proper display of correct musical priorities and taste.

Our band was good too - James Genus on bass, Paul Livant on guitar, John Pahmer and Alec Shantzis on keys, Trevor Neumann on trumpet, Andy Snitzer on tenor sax, Dan Levine on trombone, Dave Reikenberg on bari and alto sax, Kim Davis and Merrily James on background vox.

Graham Hawthorne 2012