Backed by a Chic groove reminiscent of “Chic Cheer”, Chanté Moore opened her set at B.B. King’s last night with a medley of a couple of songs from her early 90s records when she started her recording career, most notably with “Love’s Taken Over”. It was a perfect start for a pretty groove-oriented show which also included a few songs from her upcoming album.
To be released in February 2017 (on her birthday which will be her oh we don’t talk about that), “Rise Of The Phoenix” is supposed to be an album of re-start, rebirth, and renewal. From the few pieces she introduced last night, it looks as if it is going more toward the r&b end of the spectrum, but we’ll see. Chanté is still able to go to soaring heights with her voice, even though she failed to do so on the irresistible “It’s Alright”, but she made fun of it (seemed like she was fighting a cold or something) and easily continued her act with throwing in a touch of humor and laughter.
There were certain lengths in the show where she asked someone from the audience up on stage to sing with her and made it something of a little contest first with letting the audience decide who should join her. The guy who came on and sang with her on “Baby Can I Touch Your Body” was pretty good and secure, though. Her 12-piece band, including four horns and three backup vocalists, made sure that the groove wouldn’t stop, although I had wished to hear more from the horn players.
There was a pretty funky medley of soul classics towards the finale, including pieces by Teena Marie (“Square Biz”) and Luther Vandross (“Never Too Much”) and a glowing Sly Stone, but it was much more satisfying and pervading to hear Chanté display her crystal-clear and angel-like voice during the encore, when she asked for requests and sang a few songs a capella.