Last Friday, my mom and I had the pleasure of watching Stevland Hardaway Morris aka Stevie Wonder perform the entire "Songs in the Key of Life" album, including "A Something's Extra" EP and other hits, while he was in Chicago. We jammed for nearly 3 1/2 hours.
In addition to a full band, including Nate on bass (listed in album credits), a bad ass horn section and background singers, Stevie had a full strings section from a local Chicago orchestra.
I played trumpet in high school for two years until my schedule forced me to choose between band and basketball. Needless to say, the horn section holds a special place in my heart. However, the strings...it's something about the strings that just makes a song sound so beautiful. I found myself looking forward to the next time the orchestra was accompanying Stevie's band.
I'm an all day sucker for live instrumentation, yo.
When Stevie was performing, "Ngicuela - Es Una Historia - I Am Singing", he was playing an instrument that I had NEVER seen before. Video was zoomed in on his hands so you can see him play this instrument and I immediately went "WTH is that?!" I searched online for two days trying to find out the name - harpejji. It was developed back in 2007, and Stevie was playing it like he'd been playing the instrument since his first album dropped.
And possibly a psychic.
He told us that he wrote "Isn't She Lovely" before knowing the sex of his first child. He knew he was having a girl, and her name would be Aisha. I need him to holla at my bff and let her know if g-baby is having a little bro or sis.
Besides simply being in awe that I was watching a genius at work, other thoughts came to mind while watching him:
- Is he visiting a doctor on a regular basis? We gotta keep him alive. He can't die.
- He has to have, at the most, 30 locs left. He's draping, though.
- How'd he know that girl's dress is red?*
- *said multiple times* He is walking by himself. He can see. Playing us since 1950.**
Stevie stated the current tour was the last time he'd be performing the album live in the U.S.. I am so glad I was able to see him. Dozens and dozens of roses for a true legend...icon...genius.
K to the...
*I know someone told him
**I know he was counting steps