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Benson, Jarreau mesmerise Joburg

By unknown | Mar 19, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Pearl Rantsekeng and Zenoyise Madikwa

Pearl Rantsekeng and Zenoyise Madikwa

It was billed as a collaboration between two of the world's greatest jazz maestros - Al Jarreau and George Benson - to promote their newly released album Giving It Up.

But, in all fairness, it turned out to be a George Benson show featuring Al Jarreau.

The irony is that in the first five minutes it looked like Jarreau would have to carry the show as Benson kept leaving the stage.

While waiting for him, Jarreau did not do much performing other than to play with his orchestra - the one in his mouth which has won him worldwide acclaim.

"No, no, no you thought I was just gonna continue to play but this is our show we are in this together," said Jarreau in between humming to appease the audience that had been waiting for almost 10 minutes for Benson to get back on stage.

Eventually he did reappear, wearing a black velvet suit with a Chinese collar. He joined a simply-dressed Jarreau who was wearing a tired-looking pair of black jeans, a white shirt, a waist coat, a tie and his trade mark beret.

The minute they opened their mouths the crowd, in true South African style, rose to their feet despite it being a seated event.

The duo lived up to the crowd's expectations with Benson belting out his old-time favourites taking the audience on a nostalgic trip.

The crowd went wild, dancing, screaming and singing along to every melody.

Benson loved it.

He continued to mesmerise the entire Coca Cola Dome, in Northgate, north of Johannesburg, which was filled to capacity.

Of course Jarreau was still there. Now and again he would honour the audience with an appearance and when he did he sang from the bottom of his heart.

But Benson took the night away and when he belted out his Gimme the night tune all resistance crumbled. Everyone stood up including the new Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Parreira, who had been sitting rigidly in front of me with his entourage of two men and women.

And exactly two hours later the duo bid the mesmerised audience goodbye with the beautiful tune Every time you go away.


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