WE Kinda Jazz was a reunion of three of most accomplished musicians, supported by two competent young players, as well as a reunion of folks from a different time who appreciate local music without reserve.
The show featured renowned guitarist Michael Boothman and keyboardist Stephen Encinas with Clint DeCoteau (bass) and Jonathan Hensley (drums) and the vocals of Charmaine Forde.
The Kaiso Blues Cafe audience could not ask for more as patrons were exposed to a first-class, professional performance. The chemistry between Forde, Encinas and Boothman was obvious; they go back a long way, having played in the band Mike Boothman Sounds.
Back in 1984, Boothman recorded a cover of Bobby Caldwell’s (1978) hit What You Won’t do for Love, with Forde on vocals. The song was the talk of the town at that time.
Sunday evening’s reunion was classy. Forde, who now lives in Florida, performed hit after hit and the audience was delighted with the music, acting as chorus on most of the songs. Several members of her family were in the audience cheering her on.
Her sultry voice made sweet and memorable music on songs like Just My Imagination, My Funny Valentine, Stay With Me, Neither One of Us, Sugar Bum Bum, Three little Birds, Let’s Stay Together, For the Love of You (with background vocals by Carl and Carol Jacobs) and God Bless this Child.
Boothman played his 1975 Billboard chart-topper Heaven on acoustic guitar and the audience went wild. Things got so heated that Encinas’ stool broke leaving him on the floor – luckily he was not injured.
Forde was a gem. She has added style and flair to her performance and engages the audience with her voice and chit-chat in between songs. Honestly, the only thing that was missing from We Kinda Jazz was Encinas playing and singing his 1979 hit Rock a Bye Baby Love. Forde and the band had the audience help them sing happy birthday to her mother and brother, who were both enjoying her performance.