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Review: Shaggy and Sting captivate New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club

On Thursday, May 26, global music stars Shaggy and Sting put on a captivating album release show at New York City’s iconic Blue Note Jazz Club.

Shaggy and Sting at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York
Shaggy and Sting at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York. Photo Credit: Herman Canosa
Shaggy and Sting at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York. Photo Credit: Herman Canosa

On Thursday, May 26, global music superstars Shaggy and Sting put on a captivating album release show at New York City’s iconic Blue Note Jazz Club.

This event was hosted by Sting, who produced Shaggy’s latest studio offering “Com Fly Wid Mi,” which is comprised of songs from Frank Sinatra’s songbook in a distinct reggae style, and they were joined by a talented horn section that included such gifted instrumentalists as Karl Wright on drums, Paul Nowinski on bass, Andy Bassford on the guitar, Sydney Mills on keys, Rob Mathis on the keyboard, Greg Lapine on the saxophone, and trumpet players Kevin Bachelor and Matt McDonald, among other talented musicians.

Sting praised the Blue Note Jazz Club for being a “historic venue” and he shared that “the most important element in music is surprise.” “This is a big surprise,” Sting admitted about his latest music effort with Shaggy, where they successfully tackle some of the greatest hits in Frank Sinatra’s catalog.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Sting complimented Shaggy for having the “same voice” as Frank Sinatra, noting his “baritone tenor,” and he shared how the idea for this concept album came to fruition.

Sting revealed that a portion of the album was done in Jamaica, as well as Miami, Florida (where Shaggy lives), but a great deal of it was completed at Capitol Studios in California, where ironically enough, Frank Sinatra himself recorded some of his biggest hits.

Sting added that this is the type of record that will put smiles on the faces of listeners, and rightfully so.

Shaggy opened his set accordingly with “That’s Life,” where he was able to lure the audience in from the opening note, and he immediately broke into a vivacious, midtempo version of “Come Fly With Me.” He slowed down the tempo on “That Old Black Magic,” which had a neat groove to it.

Shaggy remarked that most reggae tunes have two chords, but these classic songs had at least five. “Both me and Sting are allergic to boredom,” Shaggy said about how the album came to be.

“Fly Me to the Moon” was enthralling and he was able to give “Luck Be A Lady” a refreshing, nonchalant twist to it.

Halfway through the show, Shaggy invited Sting to sing on stage with him and Sting graciously accepted his invite, and they performed “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Sting added that he is an “expensive background singer.”

It was followed by “Under My Skin,” which was sheer bliss, and an added treat was hearing Shaggy nail “Angel Eyes” (one of Frank Sinatra’s more obscure tunes and rarities) and “Witchcraft” done in a live setting. Equally impressive was Shaggy’s rousing rendition of “Saturday Night.”

“Com Fly Wid Me” sung by Shaggy (produced by Sting) is available on digital service providers by clicking here.

The Verdict

Shaggy and Sting were remarkable at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Manhattan. It was a pleasant night of Frank Sinatra music in a soaring reggae and blues fashion. This show was a substantial indication to Shaggy’s “Com Fly Wid Me” is worth checking out. Well done all around.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 18,000 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a six-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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