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Just made it into Jazz Cafe and within minutes Raheem and his band are on stage before 9pm. For them, it’s the third and final instalment of a trio of Jazz Cafe nights, but I am a Raheem DeVaughn virgin – and from the signs and some of the audience rapport during the evening, I think he may be looking for one! He kicks the gig off with “Revelations 2010” from the current ‘Love and War Masterpeace’. Raheem is in fine voice and I’m really struck by his faultless falsetto. The crowd are hugely appreciative and eager to participate in the proceedings and this enthusiasm continues throughout the evening. He is into the second song before I notice there’s an artist with easel and sketch pad on stage. I find myself bemused, “what is he doing there and why?” Raheem takes us back to his previous CDs with “Believe” & “You” from his first CD and tracks including “Love Drug” and “Woman” from his last CD. I have to say, at times, I drift off away from the stage. It could be that I’m just a grumpy, old, single, 40-something. I find myself wondering “do people who spend most of the evening holding a camera aloft actually enjoy gigs?” “Why do the latecomers always have to get to the front?” But back to the gig and it is clear that it is well rehearsed as Raheem and band have brought a number of signs with them to tell the audience what the next song will be, to share a joke, or to tease the ladies out there and remind them what “B.O.B.” cannot do! Raheem is playful, but also thoughtful and enlightened in his musings with the audience. We have some covers of “Love and Happiness”. The highlight of the evening for me is a cover of “Let’s Get It On” fused into “Cruisin” and both of these tunes are indicative of the mellow sense of the proceedings. A laid back, mellow, old skool lovin’ kinda Friday night gig and I worked out why the artist was on stage – can you?

About the Writer
Terry Joe is a London-based has led bands as a vocalist, releasing cds and regularly performing. His favourite artists include Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Al Green, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, Nathan Haines, Me'shell NdegeOcello and many more.

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