PJ Morton has mastered the art of live performance. Anyone who has seen him in concert in person, watched him perform on video or listened to his live albums can attest that his title as the Live Show Killer is well-earned. He routinely sells out shows and shows out at them. After impressing audiences on his Watch The Sun Tour in support of his GRAMMY-nominated set Watch The Sun, PJ decided to keep the good times and music rolling with Watch The Sun Live: The Mansion Sessions, a new live film and album.
After recording his Gumbo Unplugged and The Piano Album projects in recording studios, Morton decided to upgrade the setting for Watch The Sun Live to a gorgeous mansion. The scenery may have changed, but he made sure to once again invite family, friends and special guests to witness and participate in this live recording, which took place on the one-year anniversary of the release of Watch The Sun this past April.
That explains the celebratory vibe of Watch The Sun Live: The Mansion Sessions. PJ is feeling, looking and sounding good on the piano and on the mic accompanied by his full band, a trio of background vocalists and an orchestra. The musicians and audience fill the space from wall to wall, making the mansion’s great room much more intimate.
Morton mixes it up on Watch The Sun Live. He adds his two new singles – beginning the session with the Susan Carol duet “Good Morning” and ending with his lively cover of Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “The Sweetest Thing” – however, he doesn’t include the first two songs from Watch The Sun, “Love’s Disease (Just Can’t Get Enough)” and “Biggest Mistake.” PJ more than makes up for their omission with the masterclass and talent parade that follows.
PJ invited the purveyor of fine R&B himself Kenyon Dixon to join him for “On My Way,” smoothly replacing the O.G. El DeBarge. He keeps the energy going on “My Peace” with Mr. Talkbox and Tiondria Norris stepping off of backgrounds and stepping in for JoJo and proceeding to slay in the process. On “Be Like Water,” he showcases the spoken word talents of fellow NOLA native Sunni Patterson.
Live renditions of “So Lonely,” “Please Don’t Walk Away” and “Watch The Sun” allow PJ’s solo lead vocals to bask in the spotlight before he shares it with the sensational songstress Sheléa who joins him for “Still Believe” in place of Alex Isley.
Of course, a PJ Morton performance wouldn’t be a PJ Morton performance without him taking folks to church. He gives us a seat in the front pew with the songs “Lil Too Heavy” and “Better Benediction” where he’s joined by sangers Zacardi Cortez, Erica Campbell, Lisa Knowles-Smith, Tim Rogers, Samoht and Darrel “MusiqCity” Walls who are all just casually chilling in the audience. PJ concludes the visual component of his musical extravaganza by reaching back to Gumbo for “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which turns into a revival when some of the gospel stars grab the mic and pass it around. That track isn’t included on the album, which instead ends with his previously recorded live version of “The Sweetest Thing” and fits right in.
Watch The Sun Live: The Mansion Sessions is PJ’s victory lap and bridges the gap between his last release and his next. He may be the Live Show Killer, but at this point in his career, calling PJ Morton the Live Album King may be more accurate. One thing is for sure, his reign is going to last quite some time.- Advertisement - - Advertisement -