The Showcase Theatre is rapidly bccoming known as a place wliere one can see and heai quality performances at eminently reasonahle prins, ('onsider Probity Productions' marquee lor Saturday, March 27: the grcat Albert King and his tighl blues band. plus Norma Bell and her new band Necessity, making iheir stage debut. Tickets were at 4, 5, and 6 dollars, and the music was oui oi siglit. Chis combination provided quite a unique package ui talent, with the fascinating alto and soprano saxophonistvocalist Norma Bell on öfti end ot' the musical spectrum, and the mighty Mr. King stretching out the other end with lus inaslertul blues approach. The 24-year-old Ms. Bell has been featured on record with the Lyman Woodard Organization (on Detroit's own Strata Records) and has toured the country (and paris ot Europe) with the Spinners, Stevie Wonder. the Vlahavishnu Orchestra and, most recently, Frank Zappa and the Mothers. Qpcnint! tor a veteran like Mr. King must have been an invigorating experience tor Norma Bell & Co., tor they set out a sizzling show. Spotlightina mostly original material written by Norma, the saxophonist was exceptional both instrumentally and vocally, especially in her tribute to Jimi Hendrix titled, snnply. "Jimi." ' Pianist Daryl Dybka was outstanding in accom"_ paniment and solo, and the rest ot' the group acquitted itself -_- admirably. Covering the rooi end of the spectrum was the incomparable Albert King, an institution unto himself in the world of blues and soul. When Albert King walks on stage Ke brings a knel of professionalism and showmanship which one acquires only through years of working and travelling. One ot' the highlights of the evening look place just befen Albert played lus lirsi song of the evening an interlude w hich demonstrated his total mastery of Stage and audience even under the worsi of conditions. lnunediately alter he was introduced, and befoie he could gel the sound levéis lo his likmg, Albert King broke one ol' his gtiilar strings. With the band ( 3 horns and rhythm) holding a steady beat behind him, Albert proceeded to change the string and eharm the audience with a line ot' ad-libs bet'ore launching into a reien tlesslj soultul 90-minute set ot his favorite tunes. Song alter song poured l'rom Albert King, and the funky soul that makes the blues real was so evident yóu muid hear and l'eel it slide up the walls and down each aisle. Hands hittirrg together, t'eet stomping, bodies moving, all saul the same thing: leeling isa common denominator. Befpte our enraptured eyes a man and a guitar capturad and held the audience together with c;isi' and a comnion-t'ell soul which is understandable to all who reali.e that blues is "essence mustc." I or an liour and a halt we were captivated by Albert King's basic artistry, from "Cadillac Assembly Line" to "IMI Play the Blues For You," a song which still lingers in m mind. When we iet t the theatre, we look lus inspiralion - with us.