Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas
March 04, 2004
Know your audience and you will be rewarded. Las Vegas jazz pianist/vocalist Ghalib Ghallab lives by this suggestion. Ghallab pandered to his audience Friday night by creating territorial goodwill.
You were from Philly? Well, he either told a joke about Philly or invited everyone from Philly onstage to dance to their requested cover.
With his effervescent attitude and joyful nature, Ghallab was the engine behind his trio, which included bassist Blaise Sison and drummer Jihad Ghallab, Ghalib's son.
My Mom goes to Vegas once a year(tough life), and Ghallab has remembered her every time she has stepped back into the Terrazza Lounge at Caesar's Palace. With the slightest bit of funk thrown into the cool jazz pot and a cover-laden set, it's no wonder people keep coming back to see Ghallab.
Ghallab had a talent for turning soul or pop numbers like Al Green's "Love and Happiness" into swinging jazz songs without losing the original song's essence. In addition, his fingers skipped around the piano like a mutha, his eyes all the while staring me down with a big smile on his face.
I didn't know such talented musicians would be at Caesar's Palace, but I didn't think of the odds. Odds are at some point you will be in Vegas and in Caesar's Palace. And there's also a good chance that the time you visit will be during Ghallab's 5-12 p.m. slot five nights a week. So, Ghallab is letting the people of the world come to him.
But, don't make it a probability. When you go to Vegas, make Ghallab an appointment. And when you go, tell him you know Kay from New Orleans.