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November 17, 2003

REVIEW

London Times

Let’s try to be positive about this: you would pay a fortune for two hours of holistic vocal therapy anywhere else in the West End, so Bobby McFerrin’s London Jazz Festival show can probably be considered a bargain. He did not help my stress levels one bit, to be absolutely honest, but everyone around me was eager to give him a standing ovation at the end. Some people, I’m afraid, are so star-struck that they would hand over good money to watch Elton John go shopping.

There is no question that McFerrin, a walking synthesizer with greying dreadlocks, is a charismatic talent with an omnivorous appetite for music and a rare gift for communicating with audiences. While most of the world still remembers him as the man who gave us the irritatingly catchy Don’t Worry, Be Happy, he has built an unconventional career as a classical conductor, as well as a proselytiser — on albums such as Circle Songs — for the joys of a cappella ensemble singing.

For all that, there was a terribly lax quality to this display. McFerrin is very good at making car noises, among other things, but for most of this concert the vehicle’s engine hardly got beyond second gear. For much of the time he did not even seem particularly interested in leaving his garage, content instead to simply stand around polishing the bonnet and playing with the windscreen wipers. More

Posted by acapnews at November 17, 2003 10:43 PM

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