P J Morton - Live From LA (2008)

P J Morton
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One summer evening in Los Angeles at the infamous and now defunct Temple Bar, a little guy with pointy specs gathered a band of talented musicians.  And from the sounds of things, PJ was not the only person to leave justifiably sweaty and satisfied.  Not to worry, if you were unable to witness this live event, PJ Morton’s latest release, Live From LA, is now readily available for public consumption.  The Temple Bar, which has played host to many of the music industry’s most popular and gifted musicians, can easily mark that summer night down in their log as yet another success.

One summer evening in Los Angeles at the infamous and now defunct Temple Bar, a little guy with pointy specs gathered a band of talented musicians.  And from the sounds of things, PJ was not the only person to leave justifiably sweaty and satisfied.  Not to worry, if you were unable to witness this live event, PJ Morton’s latest release, Live From LA, is now readily available for public consumption.  The Temple Bar, which has played host to many of the music industry’s most popular and gifted musicians, can easily mark that summer night down in their log as yet another success.   PJ Morton is respected as a performer, instrumentalist and singer; yet his music clearly does not fit inside any one particular box.  The musical gems he creates touch upon multiple genres which certainly exemplify the fact that he draws upon his rich musical history.

Music fans are often disappointed when an artist whose studio-recorded music they have fallen for fails to deliver that same rich sound during a live performance.  Thank goodness in this instance PJ brings even to the listeners as he transforms a host of songs that have become fan favorites (as well as a few covers and other tunes) to colorful and vibrant expressions as only live performances can deliver.  Grab a glass of wine, kick back and close your eyes as PJ Morton and the boys bring the show to wherever you may be at that moment. 

Live From LA includes several of Morton’s more popular songs that have been featured on previous studio albums like “Mary” “No Ordinary Love” (which breaks into a reggae-style version of The Flamingos’ classic release, “I Only Have Eyes For You”) and “How We Were” (which evolves intermittently into a funky bit of Kayne West’s “Flashing Lights” with the backing horns on full rhythmic blast).  The band kicks it up and the hardcore rocking guitar takes center stage, placing you in a setting that might include a mosh pit filled with fans being carefree, bouncing their bodies off of one another and going crazy, all to the beat of the music.  On “Blah Blah Blah” the audience shows their familiarity with Morton’s music as they chime in, on-key to sing the song’s hook.   â€œI Need To Know” leads into the band covering Earth, Wind & Fire’s “You Can’t Hide Love,” with Zeb Ellis on background exhibiting his beautifully airy falsetto in true Philip Bailey fashion.  Before leading into “Fly Away,” Morton calls on his friend, Anaysha Figueroa, to accompany him.  She is a powerful songstress in her own right and the show could have easily concluded when the song faded with the audience knowing full well that they had received so much more entertainment than what it cost for their admittance.  PJ and his band also cover the Chi-Lites megahit, “Have You Seen Her” and spice it up with their own flavor. Live From LA has the perfect soulful outro with “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” the theme from the television show “Cheers” and another favorite of PJ’s fans.

If PJ Morton is someone that you have yet to see perform live -- or if you have seen him ten times -- Live From LA is a must-have for all lovers of music.  – Highly Recommended.

Detrel Howell

 
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