Since some of us actually like the idea of live music on South Beach, it's without extra gravitas that week three of KCC Productions and Jazid spearheading a jazz revival on the Washington strip that I'm pleased to go a little apeshit on Miami's own LeNard Rutledge dropping the smooth science on regulars and casual passersby. Hoo-wee! While we are nowhere near as close as the vibe that existed in the late '70s and early '80s, it is very, very refreshing to see this go down.
Rutledge is a Miami native who understands the many confluences of cultures in this town and is able to juxtapose them with a church and marching band background while inflicting his own funk-oriented bluesy feel.
Oft compared to Lou Rawls, Rutledge has the makings of a true jazz vocalist with range and adaptability. An imposing figure at the microphone, we'll go ahead and give ourselves a little pat on the back for pulling our heads out of our collective asses and naming him Best Jazz Artist for 2006. His 2007 album, Hello World is a classy performance tempered by his stints for Don Wilner's jazz revues at the Van Dyke Café and his tenure with Melton Mustafa's Orchestra.
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LeNard Rutledge. 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 18. Jazid, 1342 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Age 21 and up. 305-673-9372; jazid.net
Don't sit out on this one, this is local pride and the groundwork for what could possibly be the most exciting Tuesday night the beach has seen since, well, jazz was last around regularly.
LeNard Rutledge. 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 18th. Jazid, 1342 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. 305-673-9372; jazid.net