Performance: Salt Lake City
3 TENORS SING, ROCK AND JIVE
By Carma Wadley
THREE MO’ TENORS, Kingsbury Hall, Friday
They sang. They danced. They rocked. They jived. They moved seamlessly from opera to jazz to Broadway to soul. And they put on a very entertaining show.
Kenneth D. Alston Jr., Ramone Diggs and Phumzile Sojola — otherwise known as the Three Mo’ Tenors — were “the talk of rhythm town,” as they noted in their “… That’s Us,” number. As they also noted, “Sometimes we’re serious; sometimes we gotta clown.”
The evening was filled with both, as they showed off incredible musical range and skill, as well as personable and engaging styles. They created beautiful harmonies when they performed together, but were equally strong as soloists. They not only switched genres without missing a beat, they also blended them, bringing jazz to soul and soul to gospel.
The opening opera selections were outstanding, featuring works by Verdi, Handel, Puccini and Massenet. Each of the men demonstrated his classical training, as well as the depth and emotion of the music.
But they each were also at home with such Broadway-style songs as “Who Can I Turn To,” “I Gotta Be Me” and “This Is The Moment,” which were also performed individually. Their version of “Bring Him Home,” by Sojola and Diggs, was particularly moving.
Sojola elicited help from the audience on an enjoyable version of Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher,” and by the end the “hi-de-ho’s” were sounding pretty good.
The men also proved they could bend notes with the best of them on “Today I Sing The Blues.” Their tribute to Ray Charles — with “Hit The Road Jack” and “Georgia On By Mind” — was also a lot of fun.
They shined with a medley of “old school” soul: “Love Train,” “My Girl,” “Stop Look Listen,” “Midnight Train to Georgia.” And they were equally adept with “new-school” hip-hop/R&B: “Yeah,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” “Burn,” “Step in the Name of Love.”
Their spirituals and gospel numbers put a fitting finish to the show. Alston was amazing on “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Their combined “It’s My Time To Be Blessed,” had everyone’s toes tapping.
The accompaniment — piano, drums, bass and guitar, and keyboards — was also well done.
The show was fast-paced, energetic and delightful. It definitely left you wanting Mo’.