During my review of the show, I remarked on Wonder and Ozomatli's transcendent rendition of his "Land of La La," a lesser known 1985 track from "In Square Circle." That album is best known for "Part-Time Lover," but it was the thematically fitting "La La" that Wonder offered -- and a performance I haven't been able to shake five days later. Luckily, a few amateur videographers recorded it.
Those interested in witnessing expert musicians adapting to an improvised situation and transforming it into bliss should take the time to witness below.
Wonder had been slated to play the song with an instrumental backing track, which is how he began on Friday, with him on electric piano and the quick-tempoed rhythm track offering support.
Three minutes in, the sound of Ozomatli's Justin Poree banging on a tambourine started to click with Wonder's piano. Backstage someone on Wonder's team, sensing an opportunity, encouraged Poree and others to continue, and gradually the seven members of Ozomatli grabbed their sticks and horns, strapped on their instruments and, having never before rehearsed the song with Wonder, caught the beat, melody, then the bass line, then the arrangement on the fly.
Over four minutes in, Wonder began the lyrics from the top, as though this was all planned. It wasn't.
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