Charles Bradley took the stage after a quick two number hype warm-up by his backing band, Extraordinaires. His music career started when he was booking gigs as an impersonator for James Brown in a band called Black Velvet. This led to his discovery by Daptone Records, which produced his album and launched his career.
He's performed in Ottawa previously, at Ottawa Bluesfest, and later a club show. A performance at the Bronson Centre last year was cancelled due to illness, yet he is clearly back on his smooth feet, with all of the energy of a musical man in full health.
His powerful and soulful voice engaged most of the seated crowd to their feet after he'd swapped outfits to a sequined suit that glittered of gold. A fast camera shutter unveiled the true colour of the outfit to be mostly green. Sequins flickering are quite an optical illusion that a camera cannot seem to see.
Bradley is an amazingly talented man with a killer band that offered a solid hour and a half of solid soul music at another wonderful night of the Ottawa Jazz Festival.