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Maxwell

Maxwell (Billboard Live; 450 capacity; $ 12.50) Produced inhouse. Band: Maxwell, Darrel Smith, Andre Roberson, Greg Moore, Kevin Jenkins, Kerry Griffin, Angel Figueroa, LaTina Webb, Gromyko Collins, Reviewed Oct. 2, 1996. Touted by critics as a '90s soul savior who ranks with Tony Rich and Me'Shell NdegeOcello, and likened to R&B auteurs like Marvin Gaye, crooner/producer Maxwell holds up to such comparisons onstage on the third date of his first major tour. His subtly suggestive lullabies and gauged sensuality seduced the ladies while his meticulous jazz-funk band kept all bodies swaying for the duration of his 90 -minute, sold-out show. Material from his recently gold-certified LP, "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" a chronological account of a real-life courtship provided a loose framework for the set, though the falsetto-armed tenor also interpolated improvised lyrics, unheard material and a popular Slick Rick rap verse delivered in song. Like his album, which attempts to probe the delicate nuances of emotion often ignored by contemporary R&B, Maxwell's performance was carefully orchestrated without being showy, sexy but not overtly sexual. Brief vocal runs , slow, intense eye-rolling, on-beat, staccato bumps of his skinny rump as well as mild theatrics like feigning exhaustion on a stool after pouring his heart into his mike on "Whenever Wherever Whatever," were clearly designed to work the female fans. Though the fledgling performer's movements seemed a bit studied during the first part of the set, he loosened up considerably by the time he got to his current radio hit, "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)," strutting and dancing about freely and feeding off the vibrant crowd. Those who left after that missed an exhilarating encore: the 10-minute, gospel-style dance number, not found on the LP, had the half-empty house rocking at full throttle. David Wollock

Maxwell (Billboard Live; 450 capacity; $ 12.50) Produced inhouse. Band: Maxwell, Darrel Smith, Andre Roberson, Greg Moore, Kevin Jenkins, Kerry Griffin, Angel Figueroa, LaTina Webb, Gromyko Collins, Reviewed Oct. 2, 1996. Touted by critics as a ’90s soul savior who ranks with Tony Rich and Me’Shell NdegeOcello, and likened to R&B auteurs like Marvin Gaye, crooner/producer Maxwell holds up to such comparisons onstage on the third date of his first major tour. His subtly suggestive lullabies and gauged sensuality seduced the ladies while his meticulous jazz-funk band kept all bodies swaying for the duration of his 90 -minute, sold-out show. Material from his recently gold-certified LP, “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite” a chronological account of a real-life courtship provided a loose framework for the set, though the falsetto-armed tenor also interpolated improvised lyrics, unheard material and a popular Slick Rick rap verse delivered in song. Like his album, which attempts to probe the delicate nuances of emotion often ignored by contemporary R&B, Maxwell’s performance was carefully orchestrated without being showy, sexy but not overtly sexual. Brief vocal runs , slow, intense eye-rolling, on-beat, staccato bumps of his skinny rump as well as mild theatrics like feigning exhaustion on a stool after pouring his heart into his mike on “Whenever Wherever Whatever,” were clearly designed to work the female fans. Though the fledgling performer’s movements seemed a bit studied during the first part of the set, he loosened up considerably by the time he got to his current radio hit, “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” strutting and dancing about freely and feeding off the vibrant crowd. Those who left after that missed an exhilarating encore: the 10-minute, gospel-style dance number, not found on the LP, had the half-empty house rocking at full throttle. David Wollock

Maxwell

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