Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Maybe The Greatest Show On Earth

So Ringlin thinks he's got the greatest show on earth? Well after last night's spectacular offering by Imani Uzuri at Joe's Pub to celebrate the release of her long-awaited debut record, Her Holy Water: A Black Girl's Rock Opera, I'm not sure if the clowns still have it. This was the best show I've seen by far this year! EVERYBODY in that muhfuh was in total agreement with me. Just ask Todd Wilson, Greg Tate, Freedome Bradley, Kim Knox, DJ Rehka, Melissa Thornton or the 70 or so other heads there.

Imani started singing the title song "Her Holy Water" from behind the curtain and hit the stage singing like her very life depended on each melody. She didn't waste time riffing and wailing and giving over-the-top American Idol styled endings, instead she told you stories about her grandma in North Carolina where it was about church, family and making the best outta the lil bit you had; and also how she thought she was so ugly after cutting her hair into a short natural fro until these sisters exclaimed how she was giving them Grace Jones and how that was the day she knew she was a diva. Her sense of humor was dead-on. The band's timing was ill, sick, infirmed, whatever the heck you wanna call it, they killed!

I know I've said it before, but Imani has a beautiful, throaty deep alto that rises into this incandescent soprano shrill and make no mistake she knows how to use every bit of her God-given talent . At one point last night, Imani, dressed in hot pink, was on her knees singing Ishi (pron. E-She)-- a song about a Native American who died and whose bones were assumed by a US museum and how his people, his tribe had to fight for his bones. She chanted Ishii over and over again-- Iiii-shiiii, Iiiiiii-shi-- going from a mournful lament to a high pitched battle cry. It was goose-bump riveting. My comrade Todd looked over at me and said "whoa, she's taken it to different level tonight." And indeed she did. And just when you thought it was all about revolution, politics and God, homegrrrl starts bluesily singing "wet cootchie" and goes into a raunchy, crazy humorous riff about the power of the punany. Well I guess now that I think about it, I've never heard anyone at Joe's Pub or any NYC venue sing so reverently about wet cootchie. Although we wouldn't mind, Maxwell never treads that deeply or explicitly and since we are talking reverently R. Kelly and all of hiphop is eliminated. So I guess that is pretty revolutionary and yeah God was all up in there in that joint. From beginning to end, the show last night was 70 minutes of unadulterated Black grrrl fire-water. It burned, but it healed and we loved every minute of it. Like Greg Tate says in the liner notes of her CD (which we all got copies of): "Dig: the only way you're ever going to figure out Imani Uzuri's music is if you surrender to her beckon and call, her weep and wail, her songs and screams, her tears and dreams, her melodies and metamorphosis. You'll likely turn into some hella-fierce and lovely kind of Other thang yourself."

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Anonymous Koki said...

Hey Girl just checking in. MMM how come I didnt get an e-mai that u updated? Hope all is well. I've been calling u girlie. Take care, Koki

10/02/2006 7:11 PM

Anonymous Combat Jack said...

Didn't I see you at the Bling book signing jernt @ the Museum Of The City Of New York? Go girl!

10/26/2006 11:33 PM

Blogger Hot Grrrl said...

Combat Jack: Either you are some kinda detective or we know each other cause how would you know that I was at the Bling jawn. Holla and reveal your true identity. BTW-- what did you think of that panel. I'ma blog about it today,.

10/27/2006 1:10 PM

Blogger scruffdiva said...

Hey Mama! It's always good to read about my co-Capricorn (same day) Imani Uzuri! She's bomb (and so are you). Hope all is well. Sop by www.bgirlstance.com for my randomo musings.

12/06/2006 4:52 PM


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