A Montreux Jazz Festival Moment Jamiroquai – Little L (2003)
Jamiroquai was just one of the many artists who took to the Montreux Jazz Festival stage in Juy 2003. Jay Kay was an artist I originally loved to hate. His music was just a little too commercial, the dancing, the hats - who could possibly take him seriously as a vocalist. On a flight to the UK from Sydney his Verona concert was immediately following a feature film and I must have dozed because I woke listening to the sound of his voice at 35,000 ft. It was pouring with rain and he started singing...
This corner of the earth is like me in many ways I can sit for hours here and watch the emerald feathers play On the face of this I'm blessed When the sunlight comes for free I know this corner of the earth it smiles at me So inspired of that there's nothing left to do or say Think I'll dream, 'til the stars shine...
The crowd stood swaying in the rain. His vocal delivery was as intimate as a the raindrops that pelted down on the Italians watching him in the tiered seating. It was a magical performance. I had a change of heart. He wasn't a pop misfit but a clever and talented performer who could hold a note and a crowd.The fact that he had auditioned once for the Brand New Heavies back in the day and later built a following that outlasted theirs gives him a permanent place in my heart. He is not only quirky, he is passionate and persistent.
That fact that he performed on the stage that I hold as sacred makes him even more special. Montreux Jazz Festival stages have included hall of fame greats and the festival has indeed spread its wings and spanned continents as salsa, world beat (Youssou N'Dour) and urban legends (Missy Elliott) have headlined next to jazz greats like Keith Jarrett and Ella Fitzgerald. In this clip he sings one of his up-tempo songs that I like for the lyrics. This song says a lot about relationships that are forced and constrained. Love with a little "l" - who would ever want that?
What I also love about this video is that it was recorded on the Montreux Jazz Festival stage. The fundamental difference that Montreux Jazz Festival has over other musical happenings is the quality of the sound stages. The Miles Davis Hall and the Stravinski Auditorium are intention-built to deliver the best possible live and recorded listener experience. Meyer sound engineers tweak the delicate balance of instruments and microphones to balance each band and artists true sound. It is sensational to watch and an incredible listening experience to be part of. Seeing Jay Kay perform would have been a spiritual experience. Since I missed it - YouTube videos get to tell the story.
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