Thursday, October 16, 2003

Jill Scott is divine, with a voice that can belt like Aretha (yeah, I said it) yet she also possesses Re's control. She's an around-the-way girl who can get as country as you wanna be but is also down with jazz and drum'n'bass. She cowrote the Roots' mondo hit "You Got Me" (y'know, the one with Badu - was originally Jill), and her debut, Who Is Jill Scott?, was a classic word-of-mouth slow-burner of an album, going platinum a year after its release, her profile slowly and surely getting bigger & bigger. Her second release was the half-live/half-studio Experience: Jill Scott 826+ (Hidden Beach/Epic, 2001), and it's here that we really see her talents in full flower. Vamping off her band Fatback Taffy, Jill oohs, aahs, vooms, and shoops her way through over an hour's worth of material recorded at a DC tour stop in the autumn of 2001. And on the album's not-entirely-successful second disc of studio tracks (the "+" in the title), she expands her sonic pallette, collaborating with British d'n'b merchants 4 Hero and attempting some different things (again, not always successful, but what hits, hits hard, and you've gotta give the girl props for stretching out rather than recording 9 more variations on "The Way"). Much like with Erykah Badu coming off her Live album, I can't wait to see what Jill's got next.

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