Fri, December 12, 2014
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2014-12-12 7:30 pm
Johnny O'neal Trio at Alvin & Friends Restaurant Friday Jazz Series at Alvin And Friends
Johnny O’Neal is one of jazz music’s legendary figures because of his profound musicality and engaging persona. The Detroit-born pianist and vocalist was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, worked with Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Nancy Wilson, and Joe Pass during a regular gig at New York’s Blue Note jazz club in the eighties.
O’Neal’s appearance in the 2004 film “Ray” soared his career to new levels. In the film, Ray Charles played by Jamie Foxx, goes to a nightclub to hear the brilliant pianist Art Tatum played by O’Neal. O’Neal’s stirring rendition of “Yesterdays” was included in the movie.
As for his singing style, which has been compared to Joe Williams, O’Neal vocalizes with a soulful authenticity that gives meaning to the lyrics.
“My jaw dropped when I heard him play piano — and then my heart dropped when I heard him sing.”-Kurt Rosenwinkel
Alvin And Friends, 14 Memorial Highway