Watch Neal Francis & Nigel Hall Go Heavy On Classic Soul Songs At Jazz Fest Late Night

The May 2023 set included takes on George Duke’s “Uncle Remus,” Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day,” Donny Hathaway’s “Voices Inside” and more.

By Scott Bernstein Jan 4, 2024 11:48 am PST

Neal Francis and his band were joined by Lettuce keyboardist Nigel Hall for an excellent late night show at the Chickie Wah Wah in New Orleans during Jazz Fest 2023. Multi-cam video featuring soundboard audio of a set containing a mix of originals and songs by the likes of Donny Hathaway, Ann Peebles and Bill Withers has surfaced and can be viewed below.

The nine-song performance took place on the night of May 5, 2023 or technically the early morning hours of May 6, 2023. Hall and Francis were backed by guitarist Kellen Boersma, bassist Mike Starr and drummer Collin O’Brien. Trombonist Alex Wasily and saxophonist Corbin Andrick contributed to two songs while pianist Andriu “Yàno” Yanovski added to the evening’s finale.


Nigel Hall led the ensemble through The Isley Brothers’ 1972 single “Lay Away” to kick off the 90-minute set. Francis then fronted his own “I’m Watching” off 2022’s Sentimental Garbage before the keyboardists shared vocal duties on an extended version of Bill Withers’ 1977 smash “Lovely Day.” Hall went on to helm takes on Latimore’s slow-burning classic “Let’s Straighten It Out” and Ann Peebles’ 1973 hit “I Can’t Stand The Rain.”

The next portion of the show was devoted to originals starting with “Don’t Change For Me” off 2015’s Ladies And Gentleman… Nigel Hall. Wasily and Andrick then emerged for horn-driven renditions of Francis’ “Very Fine” and “BNYLV.” The latter incorporated portions of Carl Carlton’s “She’s a Bad Mama Jama.” From there the quintet went at it alone on the Frank Zappa/George Duke co-write “Uncle Remus” from the iconic 1974 FZ album Apostrophe (‘). Andriu “Yàno” Yanovski helped provide the three-keyboardist attack featured on the version of Donny Hathaway’s 1970 song “Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)” that closed the show.

Watch multi-cam video of Neal Francis & Nigel Hall’s May 5, 2023 set edited by FunkItBlog below:

FunkItBlog (See 1,094 videos)
Neal Francis (See 26 videos) and Nigel Hall (See 45 videos)

Loading tour dates


Loading tour dates


Set: Lay Away [Isley Brothers], I’m Watching [Neal Francis], Lovely Day [Bill Withers], Let’s Straighten It Out [Latimore], I Can’t Stand The Rain [Ann Peebles], Don’t Change For Me [Nigel Hall], Very Fine [Neal Francis]*, BNYLV [Neal Francis]*, Uncle Remus [Frank Zappa/George Duke], Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything) [Donny Hathaway]**

  • * – with Alex Wasily on trombone & Corbin Andrick on saxophone
  • ** – with Andriu “Yàno” Yanovski on piano
JamBase Collections