Vincent Nguini - Guitar
Bakithi Kumalo - Bass
Steve Gadd - Drums
Mark Stewart - Guitars, Cello, Saxophone, selfmade instruments
Tony Cedras - Accordeon, Keyboard, Guitars
Andy Snitzer - Saxophone, Synthesizer
Jay Ashby - Trombone, Percussion
Jamey Haddad - Percussion
Alain Mallet - Keyboard, Accordion
Steve Shehan - Percussion
Evan Ziporyn - Clarinet, Saxophone
Harper Simon - Guitar
I just returned from an extravaganza of music, rhythm and light featuring the only remaining musical icon in my library for 30 years. This is the first (sold out) concert of the current tour, but the band is tight, the music is outstanding, Paul Simon is understated as usual, and the hall rocked for 3 hours!
The night started oddly with crowds huddled outside the locked hall up to 15 minutes before show time. Insiders explained that no one was allowed in until the sound check was completed and apparently it took extra time to get things just right.
A hardly complete listing of the show included You´re the One, Graceland, Me and Julio, Bridge Over Troubled Water, I Am a Rock, Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes, Old, and many others. I would have to pull out all my albums and CDs to try to recapture all the pieces performed, but I think it would be accurate to say that he played selections from most of his albums, and especially from Graceland, The Rhythm of the Saints, and You´re the One. The show featured new arrangements of some of the old standards, which makes them even more affecting, providing new nuances and interpretations.
This is the only performer I have seen who can bring 4 percussionists to the stage and keep all four busy most of the time! The band totaled 12, including Paul, the percussionists, 2 keyboard players, three on guitars, banjo, mandolin, bass; and 3 on wind instruments. The music was complex and astounding and the rhythms were often complicated and too tempting to ignore. People throughout the theater clapped, slap-drummed their legs, bobbed and weaved in their seats. Some stood in the small space in front of their seats to dance in place as there is no space to actually dance in this theater. Paul Simon was attentive to the audience throughout but never actually talked to the audience until taking bows, when he expressed appreciation for our
response and ´kindness´.