Perfect Note Featuring Mike Burton
Perfect Note, where owner, husband and wife duo, Tremayne and Karen Thompson give God the glory for their establishment, in Hoover Alabama, which has been running for almost 4 years. Tremayne is not new to the music industry. At a young age, he discovered his musical gift and eventually became part of a band which became very successful not only because of the vocal skills the group developed, but also from the booking skills that he developed along the way. As Tremayne spoke about what led him to where he is today, he was reminded of how his steps are and were ordered by God. As the puzzle pieces of him and his wife’s life came together, Perfect Note was birthed. Tremayne and Karen have em-
raced being that resource for artists to be booked and perform without the pressure of needing thousands of social media followers and fans. They provide the venue, food, opportunity, and because those that “follow Perfect Note know they will get a great show, they also, in a sense,
provide the crowd (outside of those fans the artists already have).
On Saturday evening, Perfect Note’s special guest was Mike Burton. He is not a novice to playing the “perfect note” on his alto saxophone. Mike, who currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, has been playing since the age of 11. He’s played for individuals such as Jill Scott, Tyler Perry, and Patti Label, just to name a few.
Joining Mike at Perfect Note was some of Atlanta’s all star team of musicians: Lil John Roberts-drums, Tres Gilbert-bass, Jelani Jackson-guitar, and Phil Davis-keys. These gentlemen are true works of God gifted musicality.
The evening began with Mike Burton encouraging the crowd to “Walk,” which is the title of one of his tracks no his most recent project albums, Say What? The crowd’s ears were wide open as they were being motivated to walk into their destiny. He explains that we all have a destiny to live so do so with passion and purpose and never give up. He then sung- yes he sings too- letting the listeners know (Ecclesiastes 9:11) “The race is not given to the swift nor the strong (but the one that last long)”
After setting our minds right with a true perspective with that laid back track, Mike and the band mix it up with some upbeat, New Orleans style remix of “Pretty Young Thing,” (by Michael Jackson), which can be heard on The Good Times Brass Band album. As the crowd’s heads bobbed, feet tapped the floor, and hands clapped, mostly everyone sang along as the band played. What an energy boost for those who may have had a long week or not.
Next on the menu was “The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same,” which is on his new project. This song was smooth vocally, stimulating lyrically, and mesmerizing musically. Mike Burton did not leave anyone hanging instrumentally even though his buttery vocals showed up throughout the song-repeating the message of the song, “The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same.” Just when the song’s tempo slowed to an end, Phil Davis gave us a solo on the keys-which no one could predict where he would go next with his amazing arrangement. Mike flowed back in with the sax and engaged the audience’s attention. It seemed as though it had a voice of words all its own. Half was through this incredible performance; Tremayne opens the show up with Intimate Jazz and Conversation, where we got to know Mike Burton a little bit more.
Mike explains that he knew in high school that being in the music industry is what he wanted to do for a living and he’s done just that. He gives God the credit for enabling him to do what he loves. He references Matthew 25:23 as he encourages the audience to remain faithful over those few things. Mike also shared a little about his family. He’s been married for almost 13 years and has 2 daughters-he loves his family. Mike Burton being the humble gentleman that he is, gave homage to the band members that contributed greatly to the success of the show: Jelani Jackson-meek, appears quiet, yet very powerful musically, sings, dances, and plays several instruments such as guitar, drums, and keys. He is a co-producer and is currently working with the artist, Joe. Phil Davis-is a producer, has played with George Duke and many others, is a Grammy award winner, and a professor at Clark Atlanta University. Tres Gilbert-bassist and musical director for New Edition/RBRM. Lil John Roberts-toured with Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and so much more.
Coming out of Intimate Jazz and Conversation, Mike Burton begins the 2nd half of the show with the next song entitled, “Giant.” This tune was inspired by fatherhood and him wanting to instill in his young daughters, that they can be anything they want to be. There was a nice mix of Neo Soul Hip Hop Jazz. Tres Gilbert solos with deep heart throbbing bass lines and goes deep to the root of the message. This was a nice jam to chill and vibe to. And I would be remise if I failed to mention Jelani Jackson cosigning the message on guitar with some nice riffs.
Next we heard “Live.” Mike stated, “Life is meant to be lived, so live your life-to the fullest. Jelani gave us some bold bluesy funk and with a little Go Go sprinkled on the track, Lil John added a satisfying touch to the whole experience. If anyone tried to follow the flow of each drumstick movement, I’m sure their eyes crossed-who could keep up with such skill and precision? The crowd’s excitement never died down. It was difficult taking in this great music all at once, but still didn’t want it to end.
Another Say What? track-“Messin’ it Up,” was next up. Mike states, “We have the best intentions but we mess up. Thank God for new mercy.” This song came together so nicely, I’d describe it as Go Go Jazz. Giving the audience a breather from the high energy of “Messin’ it Up,” Tres on bass approaches the mic and begins soloing an intimate conversation with God. “Pray,” on the Say What? album was evidently touching the hearts of the people. Watery eyes, shouts of yes amen, and praise filled the room. As Mr. Gilbert walks back it was as though he and the bass said, “Amen.” All musicians joined in together with Mike B. as he inspired all to pray for everyone. If anyone had a dry eye it definitely wasn’t me. We must keep praying.
The shows tempo picks back up and ends with some feel good funky vibes. These fans wanted the music to continue however, these Atlanta musicians had to return home. True passion at its finest I’d say. Say What? Hip Hop, Gospel, Funk, Soul, with a strong Jazz flavor=Spiritual Funk (as Mike calls it). What’s coming out this summer? Mike Burton’s newest project which will be filled with positive uplifting messages. Tonight was filled with Atlanta musicians playing perfect notes at Perfect Note in Hoover, Alabama-which has been voted as one of the top music venues for Jazz music. I will surely be making another trip back.