Kirk Whalum Concert @ Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
October 26, 2023
One of many Seattle-Based Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley favorites, Kirk Whalum, launched his annual appearance honoring numerous soul/R&B and jazz icons, saluting the music that fueled his birthplace, and showering gospel nuggets. His near four-decade multi-award decorated body of work (highlighted by a Brass Note on the Memphis Walk of Fame) includes a series entitled The Gospel According to Jazz Vol. 1-4 and the ambitious 2019 project, Humanite, spotlighting musicians from South Africa to Japan to New Zealand. And Whalum is an internationally acclaimed talent welcome on any stage with his wealth of musicality proven by his graceful saxophone work.
His over one hour set jump started with Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” – giving opportunity for solos from his current touring band, especially mind-boggling drumming from Marcus Finne. Whalum also tipped his cap to Grover Washington, Jr. with “Mr. Magic.” Guitarist Andrea Lisa wrapped her warm vocals around her composition, “Get Your Wings Up” from Humanite. Understandably, there was a shout out to Memphis with “Do You Feel Me.” As for those gospel touches, John Stoddart’s robust soulful pipes injected “Falling in Love with Jesus.” Closing the festivities at Jazz Alley was the funky dance jam written by Stevie, “All I Do.” as Whalum’s Other than some extended banter that dragged a bit, Whalum and his skillful band fully engaged their audience.
Concert Photo Credit: Lisa Hagen Glynn
The Urban Music Scene