One of our last great vocal stylists of sensual songs I have been anxiously awaiting new material from one Mr. Maxwell Rivera, but alas we will have to wait. Seeing him live, however is nothing short of an out of body experience. I first had the pleasure of seeing him in 1997 at Radio City Music Hall. I was a bit suspicious about his official age being 24 because his show was flawless, his vocal delivery so skilled and he had such command of his audience that I couldn’t believe he hadn’t been performing professionally for years. Sigh. Of contentment.
When he came on the scene he was just so cool. No one rocked an afro with such flair. He also showed a depth in character I hadn’t expected by retooling a Kate Bush song and making it his own. I was fairly certain I was the only person who’d heard This Woman’s Work previously – aside from the band – amongst the overwhelmingly Black (conservative) audience. His acknowledgement of the silent contributions of (Black) women by choosing to do that song has always stood out. Even moreso now with the advent of such derogatory songs flooding the airwaves that passes for music. I listen to all genres of music and Kate is one of my faves. It was unexpected and I was sooo impressed!!! Now it’s one of his signature songs. Like Sade, he’ll always have an audience I just wish we didn’t have to wait so long between music releases and tours. It’s been 8 years!!!!
Here’s his tribute to Al Green. I’ll update with a review on Wednesday.