The love affair Frankie Beverly & Maze have going with their fans can make an uninitiated observer feel like a voyeur. The affair was on full force Friday night at the Beverly Theatre, where Beverly and crew opened their six-show weekend by delivering wave after wave of mellow, romance-laced funk.

Unless you were a hard-core Maze fan--and there were plenty on hand for Friday's early show, along with lots of empty seats--it probably felt like much ado about nothing. Maze's ultra-mellow sound is soothing and lighthearted, but it lacks interest because too much of it sounds alike. The natural response is, "That was nice . . . but didn't they just play it?" But that's a question only the uninitiated would ask.

Second-billed Shirley Jones, former lead singer of the Jones Girls, seemed nervous without the silvery, backing vocals of her two sisters. She came across best on her most recent soul-edged hit "Do You Get Enough Love?"

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World