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WEEKEND REVIEWS / POP MUSIC REVIEWS

'Super Love Jam' Provides Common Ground Showcase

February 19, 1996|CONNIE JOHNSON

Considering the animosity that appears to exist between many African Americans and Latinos in Southern California these days, the weekend's "Super Love Jam" concert at the Universal Amphitheatre was a fascinating cultural case study. The lineup primarily consisted of middle-aged black artists such as Barbara Lynn, Bloodstone and the Persuaders, while the audience was predominantly young and Latino.

Promoted heavily by popular radio station KPWR-FM, Friday's show--the first of the scheduled three--was a model in how to stage a large, multi-act showcase with a minimum of lag time between sets. By using the same nine-piece band for all 10 acts on the bill, the four-hour-plus evening progressed without a hitch.

And for a concert that could have felt like a museum visit to see some relics, there was one highlight after another, ranging from Gene Chandler's suave, attitudinal "Duke of Earl" and the Floaters' ultimate make-out song, "Float On," to the Intruders' humorous reworking of "Cowboys to Girls."

While every performer drew cheers from the crowd, the evening's biggest thrill was easily provided by the headlining Manhattans, whose "Kiss and Say Goodbye" contained so much beauty and soulfulness that color and generational lines fell to the wayside. It seemed clear that if getting along ever does become a priority in L.A., music can be a key factor in helping us find common ground.

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