Concert Date:
Aug 9, 2009
Halton Theater,
Charlotte, NC
review by:
Harvey Cline

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There are times in the musical universe when the stars align, the moon is positioned just right, and magic just comes from an area you least expect it.  That area happened to be located in the middle of North Carolina no doubt, where other forms of music seem to have their roots firmly in place.  The Charlotte area has been a new destination for many new artists over the past year as the smooth jazz scene there continues to grow.  It doesn’t matter if they are NOT touring together.  Just throw them on stage and see what happens.  Such was the case when veteran performers Nick Colionne, Steve Cole, Peter White, and Maysa performed here this week.
Colionne came on stage following his band, decked out in a white three-piece suit, black hat, and monogrammed guitar.  You could tell he came to play.  His energy was infectious as he moved across the stage with ease and later became the host for the other artists.  The near capacity crowd was into it early, and “High Flyin’” was a lot of fun to get into.  He followed it up later with “No Limits” with a couple of great guitar solos on each.
He introduced saxophonist Steve Cole as they played several tunes together while vocally jarring back and forth.  Cole reached back to his Stay Awhile disc for “When I Think of You.”  The intensity of the delivery was appreciated by all who were there.  He later launched “Off Broadway” from his popular NY LA disc along with several others.  He introduced guitarist Peter White to the stage, and they had fun playing “Bueno Funk” a little later.

White was fun as always.  Crowd favorites “Promenade” as well as “What Does It Take” were so good to hear again.  They were all joined on stage by vocalist Maysa Leak.  Her crowd favorites included “Hypnotic Love” from her Smooth Sailing release.  The scatting on several songs showed the lost art of “jazz singing” and proved why she is such a hit on the tour circuit.  She finished her last song and the three instrumentalists hit the stage together to play along for most of the night.

One of the highlights had to be of Colionne singing Rainy Night In Georgia.  His deep vocals were a great touch to a very popular song.  Cole and White both joined him as the three finished it out together.  White picked it up with “Who’s That Lady” from his Glow disc, while Cole added so much soul into his version of “Our Love.”

Everyone is still talking about the guitar duels between White and Colionne while in the audience.  They both continued to outplay the other while sitting in various places of the venue.  It all came to a crashing finale when they both sat on the edge of the stage while playing together.  At one point Cole had mentioned, “this is the concert that never ends.”  He was right.  Finally after three and a half hours, multiple hits, several covers, and whole lots of fun this one ended.  It has to be one of the best shows I’ve seen in quite a while.  It all goes to show you what happens when you put a handful of talent on stage and turn them loose.  Over three hours of magic!