CaribWorldNews, MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Sat. Jan. 30, 2010: Trinidad-born Leslie Sebastian Charles, aka Billy Ocean, returned to rock Jamaica and he did Friday night at the new venue of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival – the Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny.
The Grammy Award winning Ocean kept fans on their feet and begging for more as he closed the show on January 29th to the hit, `Caribbean Queen.` From `Mystery Lady` to `Lover Boy,` `Get Out of My Dreams,` `Suddenly,` `Love Zone` and `Caribbean Queen,` Ocean showed he is still the consummate performer and not belied by age.
From his on stage dance moves to his interaction with the audience, especially his delighted female fans, Ocean showed that while he may have taken a hiatus from performing in the past ten years, neither his voice or moves have left.
And while some are now coming to grips with the new Ocean, who has traded in his famous jerri curls for grey dreads, there is no denying that the British-based singer that millions came to know and love, is still very dynamic.
Ocean also shared a new song, `Why,` with fans, which he said he recorded in Grenada, and dedicated to Haiti and the Haitian people. As he later reminded all: `When The Going Get`s Tough, The Tough Gets Going.`
Earlier in the night, fans heard from the Queen Project – Tamia, Kelly Pryce and Deborah Cox, who treated the audience to some of their well-known classics including `Stranger In My House.`
Then it was time to soca, as Trinidad and Tobago`s soca king, Machel Montano HD, added the Caribbean jump and wave spice to the usually soulful festival.
While some of the younger fans got into the speed of things with Montano and some of his favorites like `Make Love To Me,` it was obvious that he was not connecting with the older audience.
But not to be outdone, Montano, known for selling out back-to-back shows at Madison Square Garden`s theater, treated fans to some of the older calypso hits made popular by the Mighty Sparrow. He even showed off another side, taking to the piano to show his soulful side for Haiti.
His HD dancers matched his energy but there was no denying why Montano is called the original `wining king,` as his waist line and dance moves, which have made him a hit with many younger women, thrilled.
But Montano`s enthusiasm at seeing Erykah Badu, who came after him and Ocean, could not be suppressed as he left the media tent hurriedly to take in the two top acts.
`Baduism,` however, did not come alive with the Jamaican audience and while Ms. Badu did look very hot in a sexy black leather tights that hugged every aspect of her lower body, she failed to connect with the audience, choosing to do newer unknown songs instead of hits like `Tyrone` and `Bag Lady.`
On Thursday night, Ken `Baby Face` Edmonds and The Whispers stole the show even though the turn out was not as big as Friday night. The Whispers especially put on a great show and had many dancing to their old hits, including `Rock Steady.`
Look for Gladys Knight, Hall and Oats, Jon Secada and Third World tonight as the curtain comes down on the 2010 Jazz and Blues Festival. – By Felicia Persaud/CWNN in Jamaica