Kenny Lattimore casually strolled out onto the stage of the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club to open his concert on Thursday, March 10th, but his understated entrance belied the show that was to come. For the first night of his two-night stand at the Bethesda, Maryland venue, Kenny kept it casual with a laid-back vibe all night, yet classy with his original songs and expertly chosen covers that were all about the many facets of love, which was by design.
After wooing the audience with his debut single "Never Too Busy," which sounded as good live today as it did in 1996, and a couple more recent songs, Kenny spoke to everyone in attendance like we were gathered around him in his living room for an intimate performance. "One of the things I love talking about is love and relationships," he shared before associating his 20 years in the recording industry to a long-term relationship. He admitted, "I felt like I lost the love for what I was doing. I had to get on my knees and pray to reestablish what I'm in this for." Lattimore's come-to-Jesus moment led him to stay in music and record his fifth solo album, 2015's Anatomy of a Love Song.
"What Must I Do" from that set followed before he led into his cover of The Beatles' "And I Love Her" from 2008's Timeless, which also included an interpolation of DeBarge's "I Like It." Kenny continued digging in the crates and discussed the songs that he's sung for soundtracks over the years before singing "Beautiful Girl" from The Best Man soundtrack.
Following a quick costume change from his casual Thursday gear into a white tuxedo, Lattimore took fans even further down memory lane with Frank Sinatra's jazz standard "Fly Me To the Moon." He then paid tribute to Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire with impromptu versions of "Can't Hide Love" and "Reasons" where his falsetto was flawless and gave young Philip Bailey a run. He ended this set of covers with his sensual rendition of Norman Connors' "You Are My Starship," before skipping back to present day and his current release with "Find A Way" and "Love Me Back." He ended with his hit late-'90s wedding song "For You," which he sung in both English and Spanish and garnered massive applause.
Kenny Lattimore exited the stage for a few moments but came back for an encore that included "Days Like This," "Look of Love" and his final song, "Weekend." He had everyone on their feet dancing and giving him another round of applause to end the already lovely evening of music by one of soul and R&B's best male voices on an even higher note. Fans of Kenny Lattimore can check out any upcoming tour dates on his website, and stay tuned for the announcement of a joint tour with Eric Benet later this year.