I wonder- was it Shakespeare’s Iago character in Othello that gave Beyonce the title of her pending UK tour. His constant referral to the words ‘’I am not what I am’’ gave the impression that his motives were not entirely with merit and this was founded. On the other hand we have Beyonce – a global superstar about to return with headlines that suggest ‘’As it says on the tin!’’ Let’s see….
Beyonce and the ‘Suga Mamas’ – One Lump or Two!
Beyonce’s show will feature her 10-piece all-female band the ‘Suga Mamas’. They have had phenomenal success both with Beyonce and independently as the best all-female band. The ensemble has an instrumental line-up that can explore genres from pop to jazz with its inclusion of sax, trumpet, lead and bass guitar, digital piano, wider percussion to include drum kit and congos. As well as being members of a dream team – each musician is a performer in her own right and can stand their musical ground with dexterity and charm.
Full of Eastern Promise
The rest of the entourage will include three backing singers, an exotic and extensive wardrobe of theme-based outfits, a troop of dancers and energy in spade loads!
Released in 2006 this track sees Amy’s temporary departure from jazz to a soul and R&B cocktail. The song has reminiscence of Motown genre as it begins with a characteristic four-beat/four-bar minor/major chord pattern of Dm, Gm, Bb & A played stridently on the digital piano.
Amy delivers her message through low key lyrics that are delayed in their execution but ardent in their meaning. A second digital piano playing a low-registered riff, bass guitar, drum kit and female backing vocals thicken the texture and drives the music home. The chime resounding on ‘‘Black’’ denotes the toll of death as in Berlioz’s ‘Symphony Fantastique’ where the young lover has come to the end of the line in this bizarre programmatic event.
Beyonce sings the same track on ‘’The Great Gatsby’’. It’s a much slower version with a whispering, almost haunting vocal tone as the digital piano shadows with a reverberant sustain. Beyonce seems to lack the presence and power of Amy who fortuitously co-wrote this maudlin song some time before her death.
You have big shoes to fill here Beyonce. Meanwhile we look forward to your tour de force.