Beres Hammond proves he is still “Lovers Rock King”, wowing patrons at his sold-out concert on Oct. 29 at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, L.I., according to Jamaican entertainment publicist Anthony Turner.
Turner, chief executive officer of the New York-based Images LLC, told Caribbean Life on Monday that the reggae crooner was “in fine nick” as he delivered “an enthralling performance that some fans say was one of his best ever in his 40-plus-year music career.”
“Beres was phenomenal. He delivered a once in a lifetime performance,” radio broadcaster Conroy Allison also told Caribbean Life. “What made this concert experience extra special was that it featured not just Beres but the creme dela creme of Jamaica’s top musicians, including Dean Fraser, Monty Alexander and Stephen ‘Cat’ Coore.”
Turner said violinist Brooke Alford kicked off the concert with the Earth Wind & Fire classic “Reasons.”
She was followed by Jamaican Jazz great Monty Alexander, who warmed hearts with Bob Marley favorites “Forever Loving Jah” and “No Woman No Cry.”
“The temperature inside the theatre reached fever pitch intensity and may have even spiked when Beres backed, by the Harmony House band, graced center stage at 9:10 p.m.,” Turner said.
“Fans were in for a musical treat as he belted out 70s, R&B hit single ‘One Step Ahead’,” he added.
Between songs, the “Rockaway” singer spoke about growing up in Annotto Bay, St. Mary and being inspired by the music of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, among others, Turner said.
Hammond said his mother, Roslyn Patterson, had urged him to “run away” to Kingston, the Jamaican capital to stay with his older siblings, which gave birth to his successful musical career, according to Turner.
He said Hammond upped the ante even more, mesmerizing fans with hits “What Did I Do”, “Angel Eye”, “Saying Goodbye” and “Can’t Stop A Man from Trying” before he was joined by sax maestro Dean Fraser.
Tuarner said other classics followed, including “No Disrespect,” “Be There For You” and “Tempted To Touch,” with assistance from the 2,800 fans inside the Westbury Theatre.
Stephem “Cat” Coore, Norris Webb from Third World, drummer Desi Jones and bassist Derrick Barnett then joined Fraser on stage, “providing a breather for Hammond and his Harmony House band,” Turner said.
He said the all-star ensemble entertained with reggae classics “None A Jah Jah Children No Cry” (Ras Michael) and “Likes” (Chronixx).
Turner said Coore also paid tribute to his recently deceased friend, Leonie Forbes, “delivering a heartfelt rendition of the Jamaica National Pledge.”
On return, Hammond seemed even more energized and quickly got the “singalong loverfest” started with “Love From A Distance,” “I Am Alive,” “Groovy Little Thing” and “What One Dance Can Do,” Turner said.
With his voice sounding crisp and getting better with each song, Turner said “the onslaught continued” with “She Love Now,” “Double Trouble,” “Putting Up Resistance,” “Pull Up The Vibes” and “No Disturb Sign,” his major label album “In Control.”
Turner said a high point of the show came during a “well-executed ‘tune fi tune’ exchange between Dean Fraser on sax, Monty on melodica and Beres spurring on the friendly banter.”
“The moment earned rapturous applause from the appreciative crowd,” he said.
The historic Beres & Friends presentation, which was crafted and curated by concert promoter George Crooks of Jammins Entertainment, concluded with Beres crooning “Hit On Every Corner” and “Let Them Talk” before the curtain fell with “Rockaway,” Turner said.