Tuesday, February 9, 2016

John Batiste, Colbert & the unexpected...


Say what you will about late night talk shows (and I have) but every once in awhile you get something that transcends the context.

That happened tonight at the end of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert when Colbert introduced bandleader, John Batiste as musical guest.

Colbert explained that the performance was meant to mark the anniversary of the Beatles first TV appearance on that same stage some 52 years earlier.

The music that flowed from Batiste's piano was a quiet medley of Beatles standards finally coming to rest in a rendition of Blackbird.  

The history of it all had weight but Batiste's performance is what almost moved me to tears.

I was floored. 

To be honest, up to that point I hadn't thought much of John Batiste outside of just being a happy go lucky bandleader and sometime sidekick.  

Nothing wrong with that.  I mean Reggie Watts of the Late Late Show is entertaining, The Roots on the The Tonight Show are a lively bunch but I wouldn't go out of my way to explore their musical catalogs.

They all may be decent musicians in their own right but they're just not at the same level as what I saw on Colbert's stage tonight.

Batiste is something different and for me, unexpected.  Till tonight we hadn't really seen the breadth of his talent having been primarily performing upbeat jingles and backing for other visiting musicians on the program.  

In short, not exactly the kind of stuff they invite you to Carnegie Hall for.

Batiste and Stay human are releasing an album of the show's music plus a few of Batiste's own songs.  Might be worth picking it up which is something I never thought I'd say. 


Apparently I need to give Colbert more credit for spotting talent.