Sy Smith & Zo! Captivate at Prive Deux
It was a cold and snowy evening in Detroit but the atmosphere was warm and inviting inside Prive Deux on Friday, February 10th. Urban Organic put together yet another great show featuring indie-soul artist Sy Smith and friend of Distinguished Detroit, Zo! as her accompanying keyboardist/Music Director. The hilarious Heather Jay was the host for the evening and Charity was the opening act. As usual, Charity left the audience speechless with her smash single, “Sounds Like Love”, available on iTunes, amongst other great compositions.
When Sy and Zo! hit the stage everyone was ready to receive the Foreign Exchange singer’s energy and angelic vocals. Sy was dressed in a beautiful grey tunic with black cut-out leggings and black heels that had the ladies in awe of her poise as she performed without kicking them off or standing in an uncomfortable stance. Her makeup was flawless and her signature curly fro was bouncing as, Zo! perched behind his keyboard with his Detroit fitted cap and a smile. Surprisingly, Sy was playing the synth bass keyboard as she was singing!
The first song to get it started, befittingly, was “Fa Sho” off of her latest album, The Syberspace Social. The funky party anthem had heads bopping and fingers snapping as she sang her way to the second verse, but then abruptly stopped the band when she didn’t get the response she asked for in her lyric.
“Last but not least
Give us some energy
Positive is the best”
Once the audience got the hint, Sy counted the band back in and rocked out the rest of “Fa Sho” and it set in for everyone that this was going to be an interactive show filled with awesome vibes from Sy, Zo! and the band. With Detroit’s own Brandon Williams on drums, Kenny Rocket on guitar and LaDarrel “Saxappeal” Johnson on saxophone, how could they go wrong? And Zo– a Detroiter himself- awesome composer and pianist, who has released quite a few records under The Foreign Exchange’s music label, had everyone mesmerized by the chords he played. You could tell he was happy to be home and with every stroke of the keyboard, he beamed a smile to us that was all love!
In the interview I did with Zo! a while back (check it out here), he told me that Sy Smith was his favorite to perform with because of how she flowed effortlessly and just did her thing minus staying on a grid. We got to witness this first hand as they played “Driving” a cut from Zo!’s Just Visiting Three, and “Greatest Weapon of All Time” from Sunstorm. Sy joked that when he sent her the latter track she was excited to write “A million dollar song and make millions of dollars”, but instead their currency was “millions of smiles”, said jokingly. Then finally Sy stepped from behind the synth bass to serve us her and Zo!’s rendition of Prince’s “Crazy You” and then hit us with a soulful rendition of “My Funny Valentine”. She was in her element and we were zoned in to her vocal mastery, body language and overall stage presence!
We were also gifted the live experience of Sy’s solo music with songs like “Aquarius Rising” and “Time” along with a host of others. I am sure there wasn’t one person in the room who wasn’t caught up in the rapture of Syberspace as she wooed and grooved us into a good time, leaving us wanting more when she announced the last song of the evening. Sy Smith and Zo! truly make a phenomenal pairing in chemistry and artistry and it was a delight being in the room with them to share a mutual love of music. The musicianship, stage presence and overall sound of the band didn’t go unnoticed in my book and I’m looking forward to hearing much more from both extraordinary artists!
Posted on February 23, 2012, in Distinguished Artists, Distinguished Events and tagged Brandon Williams, Charity, Kenny Rocket, Saxappeal, Sy Smith, Urban Organic, Zo!. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.