Upper Room Review: The TIME/OHIO PLAYERS at Apollo Theater

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The Time & Ohio Players in NYC 2.17 at the Apollo Theate

Messagepar JoeKelley » 16/02/05 00:42

The Time and Ohio Players in concert at the historic Apollo Theater in NYC on Thursday Feb. 17th. Funktime is at 8pm.

We will be there. Will you?
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Messagepar Invité » 16/02/05 09:24

YES O-H-I-O ! O-H-I-O !

Any details on the line up yet ? Any OP info at all ?

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Messagepar Funkygirl » 16/02/05 10:18

Ahhhhhhhh you're killing me Joe !!!! :lol: Waiting for the report and some pictures :wink:

Sorry, I'm a little to far to come :cool: :cry: :razz:
Funkygirl ==> I'm a White Free Passionated Funkateer and I'm Proud !

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Messagepar JoeKelley » 18/02/05 23:51

Funkygirl a écrit :Ahhhhhhhh you're killing me Joe !!!! :lol: Waiting for the report and some pictures :wink:

Sorry, I'm a little to far to come :cool: :cry: :razz:


It was a great show FunkyGirl. I will type up a report tonight.

Peace and love
Joe
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Upper Room Review: The TIME/OHIO PLAYERS at Apollo Theater

Messagepar JoeKelley » 19/02/05 13:41

Concert: The Time and Ohio Players
Venue: Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City
Date: Feb. 17th, 2005

My buddy The Electric Man and I made the one hour drive from Connecticut into Harlem, New York City to see a big funk throwdown at the legendary Apollo Theater. Right in front of the Apollo, attorney Johnnie Cochran strolled by us. No problems picking up our ducats and proceeded to go inside and were greeted by one of the nicest staffs around. A fellow greeted us with a booming voice, "Welcome to the legendary Apollo Theater. Have a nice evening." The ushers and usherettes kindly showed us where to go and seated us in the lower mezzanine in the third row. Great sightlines. The place seemed packed with a mix of all ages and colors. Nice to see. The Apollo's PA had a nice blend of James Brown, Chaka Khan and more soul jams to keep us occupied til showtime which started a little after 8pm. The unmistakable voice of the late great Ossie Davis greeted us and said it was showtime.

First up, The Ohio Players who put on a dazzling 90 minute funk and R&B show. Led by Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner and many of the original members, the Ohio Players opened up with "Skin Tight". The horn section, aptly named the "Chicago Storm", made this song a crowd-pleasing opener. "Sugarfoot" arrived wearing a dap black suit with bold pinstripes and matching hat. He also had on black and white checkerboard shoes. The ultimate mack daddy bringing the funk!!

The Ohio Players went through many of their hits from catalogue: "Hootchie Koo", "Heavn Must Be Like This" and a terrific encore of "Love Rollercoaster" and "Fire" . One highlight was a version of Prince and the Revolution's "Purple Rain. "Sugarfoot" prefaced the song by saying this was written by a friend of his and this friend digs what the Ohop Players do. He wouldn't say his name but we all knew he was speaking about Prince. Props to Chet Willis on the stellar guitar playing on this song and throughout the concert.

I was very impressed by the overall musicianship and funkiness that the Ohio Players had. Plus, they were having fun. These cats go all the way back to the 60s and they can blow most bands away still. Diamond Williams stepped down from his drumset and spoke to the crowd about appreciating great performers while they are still with us. He said we should have done that with Rick James, Ray Charles, Roger Troutman and now, we have that opportunity to do that with "Sugarfoot" Bonner. Can't say enough about the OP's horn section, "The Chicago Storm". This trio of sax, trumpet, and trombone really gave life to OP classics. Plus, these guys dance and play at the same time. Bravo to "The Chicago Storm".

In between band sets, we were interviewed and photograped for the next issue of the quarterly magazine Harlem News' "Swing Uptown". Much respect and thanks to Audrey and Arn for this fine publication. Catch the current issue with Adam Clayton Powell Jr. on the cover.

We have had the great pleasure to see The Time two times in six days. And each time we see the fellas is no less exciting. I knew the Apollo crowd would love this great funk and roll band. When the Time gong and hit intro sounded followed by a blazing instrumental " Ho Parade" and the eventual entrance by Morris Day and Jerome Benton, the crowd went bananas. Since The Time has been doing their thing since the early 80s, the concertgoers still love the interplay and dance steps from the dynamic duo Morris and Jerome.

I know that a couple of the fellas were suffering from colds, not helped by traveling cross-country twice in a week. But you would never know it from the outstanding performances. Guitarist Tori Ruffin was ceaseless with his six-sting playing. You heard the rock, funk, blues and jazz in his nimble playing. During "If The Kid Can't Make You Come" intro, Morris Day asks Tori to play some BB King, John Lee Hooker, Tori Ruffin snazz. Ricky "Freeze" Smith kept the bottom rock-solid with his bass. I focused on Freeze's playing during "Get it Up" and "Cool" and funk soldiers need to recognize this brother's amazing talents and bass skills.

The Time's music is heavily keyboard influenced and it takes two standout musicians like Monte Moir and Jeff McNeely to keep the Time's music afloat. Monte Moir has been there from the beginning and still brings new sounds and touches to Time classics as "Wild and Loose" and "The Bird". Plus, Monte is stepping and playing at the same time. So refreshing in an era of bland concerts with prerecorded music and audiences that settle for less than excellence. Newest member of The Time is keyboardist Jeff McNeely, who is from St. Louis and also a member of the band Boogie Chillun. He had big shoes to fill upon Chance Howard's departure to Prince and the NPG. However, Jeff has done extraordinarily well. Funny moment towards the end of the show was when Jerome chided Jeff's "Frank Sinatra- looking attire".

Jellybean Johnson leaves it all on the stage with his phenomenal drumming on "777-9311" and "Jungle Love" and "Gigolos Get Lonely Too". 'Beam is also one of the most expressive musicians and it was cool to see him vibing on one of Tori's guitar solos during "Jungle Love" and cracking up at some of Jerome's jokes.

What can you say about Jerome and Morris? The ultimate showmen. Dancing and keeping the party rocking. The big Apollo stage gave these guys a lot of room to dance and they used every inch of the stage to full capacity. Jerome did a phenomenal split again. He later said that jumping up and down off the stage has taken 10 years off his knees. I wouldn't doubt it seeing how physical the dancing is. But like true performers, they never let the ills and aches deter a great performance.

The Time played only an hour due to time constrictions for the venue. So, they had to omit "Blondie/My Drawers" and the extended "Ice Cream Castles". They did bring a line of ladies onstage one of whom had to be brought offstage due to her propensity to get a little too close to the musicians. But she did have the Mike Tyson "stick and jab" dance moves going on.

I want to thank the entire band for their kindness and camaraderie after the show. It is always nice to have nice friends and they are very appreciative of everyone's support. See you in the spring/summertime.
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Funkygirl
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Messagepar Funkygirl » 19/02/05 13:42

Thank U Joe :wink: (Any picture :lol: )

Hey come to listen to that band :arrow: http://funkhome.nuxit.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1411
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Messagepar Wonder B » 19/02/05 14:42

Why am I always in the Big Apple IN BETWEEN events of that kind!!!!!!!

DAMN IT!!!!!!

I was there just last weekend, one week too soon...
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Messagepar JoeKelley » 20/02/05 18:30

Funkygirl a écrit :Thank U Joe :wink: (Any picture :lol: )

Hey come to listen to that band :arrow: http://funkhome.nuxit.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1411


You're welcome Funkygirl. The backstage area was too crowded and the Time didn't stay too long vuz they had to fly out early the next morning. Plus, a couple of the guys had colds. So I didn't ask to take any pics.

I am going to check out that band now.
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Messagepar JoeKelley » 20/02/05 18:37

Wonder B a écrit :Why am I always in the Big Apple IN BETWEEN events of that kind!!!!!!!

DAMN IT!!!!!!

I was there just last weekend, one week too soon...


Ah bro, hopefully we can all see a show together sometime in 2005. I am sure there will be more opportunties.
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Messagepar Wonder B » 20/02/05 21:21

Thanks Joe... I hope so... but lately I have been quite unlucky with the schedule... like I am flying to Boston TUesday but Friday night there was this huge concert with lotsa bands like The Escorts, Manhattans? Blue Magic and such. Barbara & Keith Thomas told me about it. I am going to meet them on Wednesday.

WB
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Messagepar JoeKelley » 22/02/05 03:15

Wonder B a écrit :Thanks Joe... I hope so... but lately I have been quite unlucky with the schedule... like I am flying to Boston TUesday but Friday night there was this huge concert with lotsa bands like The Escorts, Manhattans? Blue Magic and such. Barbara & Keith Thomas told me about it. I am going to meet them on Wednesday.

WB



The good thing is that there seems to be a lot more shows with the REAL musicians so hopefully this spring and summer will be good for the concertstage.

Peace
joe
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Messagepar skyyflow » 22/02/05 04:56


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Messagepar Funkygirl » 22/02/05 08:21

Yes the best Website ever made about the TIME (thanks to Gunter) :!: :razz:

If you want to read the Interview I made in 2002 :wink:

http://www.purplemusic.mynetcologne.de/2002-05-27.html
Funkygirl ==> I'm a White Free Passionated Funkateer and I'm Proud !

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Messagepar skyyflow » 22/02/05 09:06

Thanx for that link Funkygirl , i will read it a.s.a.p.
i'm gonna catch some sleep now ... been posting all night :???:

i leave you with this link from one of Rick's roadiez :
:lol:

http://f2.pg.briefcase.yahoo.com/rickjamespyro


salut !

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Wonder B
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Messagepar Wonder B » 22/02/05 12:16

Ouch these pics are killing me! LOOOOOL
Wonder B

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Messagepar skyyflow » 22/02/05 18:38

haHAAA , hey WonderB
On the forum of www.rickjames.com , this dude has placed about 38 stories from his roadie-memories and more . Hilarious tales from "Pyro John" that everyone should read .


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