The Outer Bank Forum brought AJ Croce to the Outer Banks Saturday night, and his performance left no doubt the Croce legacy is alive and well in the late Jim Croce’s son.
An amazing musician, Croce played a concert he told the audience he doesn’t perform very often—his “Two Generations of American Music”, which include songs from his father’s repertoire.
Croce, whose voice sounds remarkably similar to his father, moved seamlessly between his own compositions and his father’s songs. And, although he performed the music of his father flawlessly, he really hit his stride playing his own music.
A gifted pianist and guitar player, it is on piano in particular that he shines.
One performance specifically put his skills on full display.
Come and Go begins as almost random notes on the piano, but it builds into a composition of extraordinary complexity in Croce’s hands. There are touches of classical music, honky-tonk, jazz and blues all woven together into a seven minute improv.
The band playing with him was excellent, but lead guitar Michael Bizar really stood out. Bizar has been playing with Croce for a number of years and seems to have a real understanding of what he is doing with his music.
Although Croce’s own music was the highlight of the evening, the encore he presented has to be mentioned.
Saying, “I’m going to share a very special recording with you, a recording that was made at our kitchen table,” he played a recording of Time in a Bottle, allowing it to play for a minute. Then he and Bizar began accompanying the music, Croce’s voice blending perfectly with his father’s.
It was a powerful tribute to a great musician.