Osborne told a story of being the youngest of twelve children growing up in Providence, RI. His dad was a jazz trumpeter, but he was a Motown kid. His father told him to turn that crap off because the Motown artists sang off key. He said that it took him about 20 years to realize that his father was right.
He also mentioned how he got to be in the group LTD. The group was opening up for Sam and Dave and they happened to be in Providence. The drummer got “locked up for having some weed” and he ended up taking his place. Osborne joked that he wasn’t going to play any LTD stuff because this was a jazz show, which got boos from the crowd. They then went into the LTD hit “Holding On (When the Love is Gone).”
Throughout the evening, every member of the band got to take a solo because it was a “jazz show.”
After a few numbers, Osborne noted that he felt “blessed” to have several people get married to his songs. He decided to sing a few lines from some of his “wedding songs” including: “We’re Going All The Way” and “On the Wings of Love.”
Jeffrey said that he played in Akron last year and a lot has changed in Northeastern Ohio since his last appearance. “The Cavs won a championship, the Indians made it to the World Series, but the Browns still suck!”
The energetic Osborne then went out into the crowd, high-fiving everyone as he ran up and down the aisles. Upon returning to the stage, Osborne said that he needed a break. “I’m old! I know you know how old I am because you Googled my ass!” the sixty-eight year old proclaimed.
Being “old school,” Osborne said that you used to know the songs by the opening bass line. Bill, his bass player then took center stage and played the opening riff to “For the Love of Money” and the entire band joined in which got everyone on their feet. The party continued as they played a few other tunes including “Skin Tight” by the Ohio Players and even Osborne’s own funky tune “Baby Stay with Me Tonight.”
“Close to You” is a song that The Carpenters made famous in the ‘70s but Osborne covered it on his 2013 album A Time for Love. Jeffery and his band sped up the tempo, put a jazz twist on it and believe it or not, it worked fabulously!
At the end of the show, Osborne once again came out into the audience and let several fans sing the “can you woo, woo, woo” chorus to “You Should Be Mine.” It was impressive to hear how well the audience could sing.
The night came to a close as Osborne played the LTD classic “Back In Love Again.”
Jeffrey Osborne is an outstanding entertainer. He is engaging, funny and he can still belt out the tunes with the best of them. There is something about these “old school” performers that I wish some newer artists would take note.