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Preview/Review by Brad Balfour & Bruce AlexanderPhoto Above: Bruce Alexander
Lincoln Center PresentsSummer for the City Social DanceThe Stax Academy Rhythm SectionPlus a Special Appearance by Booker T. JonesWednesday, July 127 pmThe Josie Robertson Plaza
Booker T. Jones in Conversation: A Career RetrospectiveDavid Rubenstein AtriumWednesday, July 125 pm
Booker T. JonesApril 15th, 20238 pmCity Winery Main Venue
The legendary organist Booker T. Jones and his current band performed an amazing gig at The City Winery to celebrate his groundbreaking 1962 “Green Onions” recording. The pop hit was not only unique for being an instrumental but one based on riff heard through Jones’ articulation of the Hammond organ keyboards.
Over 60 years ago, Jones had started playing with his famous group, Booker T. and The MGs, which included guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald Duck Dunn and drummer Al Jackson. Jones had kept The MGs going until bass player Donald Duck Dunn passed away. Drummer Al Jackson died way back in 1975 and guitar player Steve Cropper retired.
Jones opened his set with “Soul Dressing,” followed by other classics like “Summertime” and “Hip Hugger.” His new killer band now features Vernon “Ice" Black on guitar, Darin Gray on drums and Melvin Brannon on bass. Besides playing the keys, Jones also came out to play several songs on guitar. In addition, it featured a fantastic young female singer who came out on stage to do a killer version of “Respect” , almost stealing the show from him.
He talked about playing with the late soul legend singer Bill Withers and then proceeded to perform “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Jones then went into a groovy tune called “Melting Pot” followed by “Soul Limbo” and “Time Is Time.” That composition had been created for a film score for the movie ” Up Tight.” Booker came back to finish the night with “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Everything is Everything.”
Of course the Grammy winner played “Green Onions” and proved to be as great as he had been back then when he had this hit. City Winery was packed and Booker T. Jones delivered.
Since Booker T has not lost his magic touch, audiences are clamoring to see him. That’s now possible this Wednesday, July 12th. First, at 5 pm, there will be “Booker T. Jones: A Career Retrospective” — and he will be in conversation with Memphis-based DJ Jared “Jay B.” Boyd as they kick off a Southern soul evening.
Then at 7pm, The Stax Academy Rhythm Section will play at The Dance Floor in the Josie Robertson Plaza — which features an appearance by this Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Booker T. Jones— for a Memphis- style Southern soul party.
And it’s all Free!
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