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Melba Moore: Live in Concert


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Performer Notes
  • Melba Moore is a perfectionist and huge talent and this DVD from Soul Concerts thoroughly captures her smooth voice and dynamic performance, documenting the diva and providing a good time, as well as giving evidence that Moore should be considered on the same plateau as Diana Ross, Donna Summer, and other soul icons. The Bee Gees' "You Stepped Into My Life" is as absorbing as Van McCoy's "This Is It," the musicians complementing her voice without ever getting out of line. The vocal choreography behind the singer is elaborate and captivating while Moore just takes the material and gives each tune new life. These aren't note-by-note readings from the records, this is a tour de force with Moore delivering the goods while having a good time with her fans. She hits notes in "Air Mail Medley" that amaze, taking that theme of dazzling vocals further with a unique rendition of Gershwin's "Summertime" in a quasi-falsetto (and another wardrobe change) to a standing ovation. Talking to the audience about her degree -- and teaching school for awhile -- she puts a "super Afro wig" on for the medley from Hair. "Aquarius" has lush instrumentation but Moore plays it like she's still on-stage with the original production. It was her first Broadway show and it's nice to hear the chatter in between tunes giving the history. The rendition of "Purlie" takes it to another level at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall; the festivities were halted as Joe Franklin comes out for intermission and a couple of jokes. Moore re-emerges in robes and starts the second portion with full gospel, "Everything With Breath Praise the Lord" sweeping through the auditorium and the energy just goes up a whole other level. "Nobody But Jesus" is just terrific and the voice just doesn't quit. Freddie Jackson appears on a tremendous "Just a Little Bit More" as well as on the "Christmas Medley" which closes out the DVD. There's also a fine interview with the singer relaxed and charming, the bonus material making this a first rate effort all the way around. A true entertainer gives it 110-percent and if this review is over the top, it's because Melba Moore doesn't stop. Live in Concert is a superb presentation which will not disappoint. [The concert was also released in a CD-only version.] ~ Joe Viglione
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