By Keith L. Forest
In these days where processed music, rehashed beats and manufactured tunes are the norm, it seems that authentic, live, instrumentally-mastered music is a thing of the past. With DJ’s spinning digitized beats and recording artists performing to looped tracks technically mastered in sterile environments; our culture seems to be kneeling to a synthetic world where true talent and artistry is taking a back seat to gimmicks and flash. However, there’s always a savior anointed to break the mold and gifted enough to send the clock souring back to the future. That someone is Abiah.
Gifted with a five and ½ octave range, the artist formally known as Jeremiah Abiah embraces his inherent calling, while finding new found freedom as Abiah. A gifted balladeer and master songwriter/composer Abiah, a classically trained opera singer, defies categorization. At a recent concert at Le Poisson Rouge located in the heart of New York City’s music scene – Greenwich Village, Abiah graced the dimly lit stage to introduce his latest project Life As A Ballad. Dapperly dressed in a white tuxedo jacket trimmed in black, dark slacks with a hint of flash radiated via his metallic boots, Abiah took center stage to do one thing – sing.
And singing he did.
Backed by an all-star cast of musicians including his cousin recording artist Robert Glasper on keys; producer Keith Witty on bass; Chris Eddleton on drums; David Rosenthal and Marvin Sewell on guitars, Abiah performed an electrifying hour set. Kicking off the show with his stylized single “So In Love With You” Abiah masterfully held the diverse audience in awe. Like a Picasso painting, his abstractive vocal range refined the art of performance. With every stylized, well-crafted utterance the musical artesian created colorful images of love lost, longed for and captured. The gifted composer took complete ownership on “Doves” stylishly re-defining Prince classic track with subtle complexities, intense keys and affirming moans. On the title track “Life As A Ballad,” a sensuous soulful reaffirmation displaying Abiah’s angelic vocal prowess, the singer affirms his calling a master balladeer. The show ended with an encore performance of his hit single “September.”
Although it has been over 10 years since Abiah released his debut album Chasing Forever on Siri Records/Universal Republic, his time has surely arrived. Life As A Ballad contains a whirl wind of passion that emotes the subtle sentiments of love that will delight long-time fans and amaze those seeking substance.
“To me, what’s different about this music is that it has a certain immediacy.” Abiah says. “We wanted it to be authentic and tell the story of how one finds beauty when life seems its darkest.”
And that it does. If Life Is A Ballad, Abiah is anointed and pre-ordained to be its messenger. So repent and pick up your copy today.
Photos credit: 1): Abiah mesmerizing the crowd with his 5 ½ octave rang. 2) Abiah sharing his gift on stage at Le Poisson Rouge. 3) Background singers Left to Right Jamie Owens; Dani Elliott and Danielle Summons, 4) Producer/Bassist Keith Whitty and songwriter/singer 5) singer/songwriters Dante and Gordon Chambers 6) Picture left to right guitarist David Rosenthal; bassist Keith Witty; Abiah; guitarist Marvin Sewell; drummer Chris Eddleton; and recording artist, keyboardist Robert Glasper. Photos by Francis Augustine.
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