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UKSoulJam put on a monthly showcase in London at the Jazz Cafe every month. This month, they were pleased to present Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry as the headline act on a line up of UK Soul artists.

I fondly recall watching Floetry perform at Jazz Cafe four years ago, on the popularity of their debut album. Great chemistry on stage, fun crowd interactions and dope music. After they split last year Marsha Ambrosius found herself singing all over the West Coast as an introduction to her solo career. Two mixtapes later and I’m in the audience of the Jazz Cafe eagerly awaiting my floetic namesake’s first ever solo performance since Floetry…

I’d had a nice chat with her earlier in the day, in which she explained why Floetry had really broken up, what it was like working with Michael Jackson on his version of her song “Butterflies” and why she’s taking her time in releasing her solo album.

[Keep an eye out for that soon on the SoulCulture.]

But back to the concert. Opening with “Co-Star,” Ambrosius launches into a combination of old and new material, including “Say Yes” (with the audience singing it before the first note left Marsha’s lips) and a thumping new song produced by Dr Dre. Incorporating the lyrics to “Thriller” as verses in the Floetry classic “Getting Late,” she eases into a tribute to Michael Jackson with a rendition of “Butterflies” on the piano, followed by a snippet of “Cry” – an unfinished song she has written for him:

Marsha Ambrosius MJ TRIBUTE – “Cry” (LIVE) : [audio:http://soulculture.com/Cry (Live @ Jazz Cafe 05_06_09).mp3]
Take some of the concert home – CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.

She was onstage for less than an hour, preceded by several ‘UK Soul’ acts of varying quality – standout vocalist Jaz Ellington deserves a mention for his quality (but lengthy) performance. An excellent night, albeit exhausting (performers were on from 9pm until well past midnight!), but at the reasonable price of £9, the sold out audience got its money’s worth.

A big thanks go to go Paul Aaaron at KeepTheFaith for putting on the show and nurturing homegrown talent.

-Marsha Gosho Oakes

EXCLUSIVE FREE DOWNLOADS:

Marsha Ambrosius – “Co-Star” (LIVE SOUNDCHECK) :
[audio:http://soulculture.com/Co-Star(live @ Jazz Cafe sound check).mp3]
Take some of the concert home – CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.

Marsha Ambrosius MJ Tribute – “I Want You To Stay” (LIVE) :
[audio:http://soulculture.com/Cry (Live @ Jazz Cafe 05_06_09).mp3]
Take some of the concert home – CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.

Marsha Ambrosius MJ Tribute – “I Can’t Help It” (LIVE SOUNDCHECK):
[audio:http://soulculture.com/I Can’t help it (Live @ Jazz Cafe Soundcheck).mp3]
Take some of the soundcheck home – CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.

Photos by Tamar Nussbacher.