Jeffrey Osborne wings it with jazz and funk in a rewarding Dakota debut (via StarTribune)

In his debut at the Dakota Jazz Club Tuesday, 1980s R&B star Jeffrey Osborne seemed preoccupied with the fact that the venue was billed as a jazz club. He kept talking about his jazz show vs. his R&B show with a bigger band including female backup singers.

So his freewheeling, fun and often musically rewarding set featured some funk teases (mostly from his days with the 1970s band LTD) and some satisfying jazz ballads (mostly from his 2013 George Duke-produced album “A Time for Love”).

With phrasing and a timbre that recalled Lou Rawls,’ Osborne, 67, impressed singing standards and pop classics such as a breezy “Close to You” and an inviting “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.

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