It went down April 27, 2013 at a very secret location in downtown Los Angeles. You needed to RSVP before being given the address. This is an ultra groovy music affair. If you’re not hip to internationally renowned DJ/Producer/Jazz Musician/Classically trained pianist/ Mark de Clive-Lowe you need to update your musical palette. His event CHURCH is a must attend night on the town if it ever pops up in your city – anywhere in the world. The framework and atmosphere were laid by an eclectic range of DJ’s including Jeremy Sole and KCRW’s Aaron Byrd mixing tunes on a stellar sound system inside the warehouse. I’m not talking the glut of the same Top 40 songs being spun in clubs around the world now. If you’re old enough to remember what it was like going out to dance and you heard songs that made you go “Whoa..what’s that?!”
This was handpicked music ranging from jazz, soul and house all woven together amidst a first class lighting designer to create the right type of ambience. Mark de Clive Lowe’s set is a combination of DJ and musicianship – with vocal pieces and musical bits being created on the fly accompanied by a tight knit band that included an esteemed cast including Freddy Washington (Herbie Hancock,Patrice Rushen on bass; Derf Reklaw (The Pharoahs, Ramsey Lewis) percussion, Dexter Story (Kindred Spirits, Lifeforce Trio), drums Bob Reynolds (John Mayer) on saxophone, , as well the gifted Nia Andrews (Common, Janelle Monae) on vocals.
Food trucks, full bar and a packed house of music devotees not worried about trend or popularity – rather the type of night of music and dancing that’s all about substance. Legacy artist/songwriter producer Leon Ware (Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Maxwell) did a memorable brief set that included Minnie Ripperton’s classic “Inside My Love” to which I joined him on a sublime and sexy rendition of one of his classic penned tunes “I Want You.” I felt as if I were in a dream. It wasn’t one of those generic ‘old school’ moments – this was born of the moment to a packed house of primarily 20 and 30 somethings that appreciate the music and vibes enough to be in the ‘know’ about an evening like this. They also seem to know the history not as nostalgia (like some older fans tend to do) but true modern appreciation rather than what’s force-fed ad nauseam in today’s commercial scene. After coming onstage to join Mr. Ware, I returned in the second set of De Clive-Lowe to perform “Tonight’s The Night” one of our club gems as well as the new “The Dawn” – it was the first time he and I had performed that one. My guys Rosero McCoy and John “Havic” Gregory went in with me on both.
It’s a pleasure to be a legacy artist with history myself while continuing to be a part of something fresh to those who really understand – as an alternative to some of the more straight up shows and events I do with my own band. It’s a continued evolution which is an element and one of the many unique things about what I do and the variety of ways I choose to do it. Being an artist for 3 decades in this crazy business, it’s always important for me to find ways to remain authentic though never staying the the ‘box.’ The vibe of ‘CHURCH’ is one of the elements of the underground that I’ve loved since I discovered and began to embrace back in 1999; a quality mixture of soul, jazz, dance, electronic – just happens to be ‘club.’ There is a wealth of great music and artistry – you may have to work harder to find it, but it’s there for the open-minded. I had so much fun – it was another night to remember for all involved.
Backstage. Mark De Clive-Lowe and Jody Watley Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)
Backstage. Mark De Clive-Lowe, Jody Watley, Leon Ware. Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)
Jody Watley “LIVE” theLIFT presents CHURCH Spring 2013 Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)
Backstage VIP Lounge. Limited edition Jody Watley T-shirts!
Pre-Show – Always staying “in the light!” Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)
Meeting Leon Ware backstage for first time. Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)
CHENGDU NIGHT OF GLOBAL FORTUNE AND GRAMMY WINNING ARTISTS; CHENGDU, CHINA SPORTS CENTRE JUNE 8, 2013.
ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, NEW ORLEANS, LA MERCEDES BENZ SUPERDOME SUPERLOUNGE, JULY 6, 2013
NEW MUSIC COMING:
“NIGHTLIFE” PRODUCED BY COUNT DE MONEY
“THE DAWN” PRODUCED BY MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE – Coming Summer 2013!