A new, recurring feature for the blog! Posts featuring artists I see live!
Last night, I saw Leslie Odom, Jr. perform. Those of you who are Hamilton fans will recognize him (or at least recognize his voice) as the actor who played Aaron Burr. With the huge commercial success of Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr. has the rare opportunity for a Broadway performer to do whatever the hell he wants.
He talked about this at the show last night. Paraphrasing his remarks: “When the guys in cigars asked, ‘What do you want to do kid. We’ll make you a star’ I said I wanted to sing — and perform like Nat King Cole would perform today.”
So, he’s a crooner. And, a damn good one. He’s also backed by a phe-nom-e-nal band: Michael O. Mitchell (piano), Orlando Le Fleming (stand-up bass), John Davis (drums), Steven Walker (guitar) and Senfu Stoney (percussion). The song on which they each did extended, individual solos was worth the ticket price alone.
He and his quintet released an album last year of jazz, blues, and Broadway standards and performed many of the songs last night. This is my favorite track…a quiet, delicate cover of a 1950s Broadway song.