Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Buy: Jill Scott, Experience: Jill Scott, Love: Jill Scott
on 21 November 2001
This album 'Experience: Jill Scott 826+' is a must have on many levels, but what surprised me the most is the pure value for money this album provides. Seriously, thank you Jill Scott. On CD 2 there is an album's worth of new material itself, but on CD1 there is another album comprised of live recordings of tracks from 'Who is Jill Scott?', her first album. This is what surprised me the most. Normally you would find the content of this new album spread over two, separately released albums; a live album and the new album. Here though we really do get two for one.
If you own the first album you may think that the first CD of this new album, the live recordings, will be wasted on you, however this would be wrong. I have the first album, and most people that I know who also own it all agree that is a spectacular debut album, with tracks such as 'Slowly Surely' and 'A Long Walk' breaking into the charts and appearing on very musically specific compilations, such as Gilles Peterson's 'Worldwide' album. The live recordings on the first CD of this new album sound very different to the original recordings. The tracks have all been beefed up, extended in places, and being live feature short solo jams by the musicians in her band. Playing live gives the artist more freedom to have fun with the music, and often they will liven things up for a live crowd, which is exactly what Jill Scott has done here. The other thing that you will notice is that Jill Scott displays a vocal range, and range of vocal stylings which is not evident in the original album. My favourite track on this CD would have to be 'A Long Walk' which was not my favourite track from the first album, and in a couple a places here Jill Scott manages to sound very similar to Nina Simone; very impressive indeed. If you do not have the first album it is worth buying this second release as you need to hear these tracks, and if you do already own the first album then you should still buy this because you will genuinely enjoy listening to these live versions.
The Second CD of this release is all new material of similar quality to her first album. One of the great things I felt about her first album 'Who is Jill Scott?' was the range of different styles she used throughout it; some were jazzy, some were Hip Hop based, some were ballads, and some were of a faster pace with that St. Germain, 'Sure Thing' chilled edge to them (Sorry that is probably a very bad description, but it's the best I can do). On this, her second release, her new material I would say, overall, is slightly slower than the average pace of the first album. I would say that her new material tends more towards jazz and R&B influence, having said that Track 2, 'Gotta get up (Another Day)', is a collaboration with 4Hero who are best known as Drum and Base artists. On that track there is evidence of Drum and Base in the drum rhythm, but I would still classify the track as Jazz, although pretty contempory. Another artist that she has collaborated with is Common who is a Hip Hop / R&B artist, and the resulting track, 'High Post Brotha' has a clear Hip Hop beat, yet is still a chilled and relaxing track to listen to. The rest of the tracks here are very good, but if I went into all of them I would undoubtedly bore you, although you should look forward to track 8, 'Be Ready', as it is a scratchalicious jazz record of the highest quality. Fantastic. Don't forget to look out for 2 hidden tracks on this CD as well.
Overall this is a very good album; good value for money, great music, and offers a further insight into the enigma that is Jill Scott. Buy it!
It would be a crime to award this anything less than 5 Stars.