If you are a John Legend fan you already know that he comes from a place others simply cannot go. His sound, his style, his presence and his presentation leave one awed whenever he takes the stage. What I find exceptional about that is that whatever that ultra extra special something is isn’t something you can put your finger on and say “there, there it is!” No, at least not from my vantage point it is not that simple to identify. It is something old and deep, rare and ethereal and it seems boundless. That he can possibly transfer some of that “something” to an entire stable of other artist is a question that will remain open for a while, but, from what I’ve seen of what he has to work with I think it is definitely doable.
So who are these artists? Estelle, the British phenom who struts and entertains with a tasty sense of class that blends reggae and rap, harmony and delivery in a way that makes her unmistakably her own star.
Then there is The James Gang, three super talented song and dance men with a Broadway skill that has you rocking in your seat, then up on your feet clapping them on in the privacy of your own den. (Okay, so I’m confessing!)
The other one who impressed me was Vaughn Anthony, who I wasn’t really expecting to because of his relationship to Legend, but who was a thoroughly refreshing surprise. He has a lot of directions he can go with his voice and his style if he continues to hone it into some of his own.
What Legend is doing is a real risk, which is a feather in his hat and the hats of those visionaries that are willing to back this venture. I believe he and they are at the forefront of the exciting curve and I am hoping that they build each of these talented individuals into enduring performers that even history will be able to look back on and say they were a part of a musical revolution. Perhaps that is a lot of expectation but it is time we have an expectation of change, positive change that spins music into absolute magic again.