On the latest edition of Vinyl Destination, a documentary series featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, the cameras go behind the scenes of 2013′s July Fourth Welcome America event, featuring not only Jazzy Jeff, but also artists like Jill Scott and The Roots (I watched the first half of the video thinking it was from this year’s, but oddly enough, it’s actually from last year’s). The video shows conversations between the artists about Jeff learning to swim and Jill learning to drive, and interestingly enough, there’s a scene just around the corner of WXPN’s World Cafe live as Jazzy Jeff checks out the food trucks on 30th Street. Check out the episode below:
Philly soul diva Jill Scott has successfully spread her talents across music and film over the past few years, having starred in two Tyler Perry Films and this year’s Baggage Claim. According to Rolling Stone, her next role will be in Get On Up, a James Brown biopic produced by rock icon Mick Jagger. Scott will portray Brown’s wife, Susie, and the film that will highlight the late Godfather of Soul’s rise to fame, personal struggles, and his indelible mark on soul music and pop culture. Shooting for the film is set to begin this month with a tentative release date of October 2014. Watch Jill Scott discuss films at Essence Festival with fellow Philly star Kevin Hart below.
Prolific jazz musician/producer Robert Glasper and Philly neo-soul queen Jill Scott have released a music video for “Calls,” their collaboration featured on The Robert Glasper Experience’s much-anticipated LP Black Radio 2. The video, directed by Ace Norton, opens with the anonymous quote “Moving forward is moving on,” before shooting to Scott (donning a dress and hat straight out of the 40′s) in an old Cadillac stuck at a red light that ironically won’t turn green.
The video, hazy and dream-like in nature, perfectly accompanies the ethereal vocals of Scott that float effortlessly above Glasper’s dreamy piano chords. Described as “a story of a metaphysical romantic connection partly quantified in unanswered phone calls,” the video displays palpable chemistry between Scott and Glasper, who look and sound as if they have been working together their whole lives. During one of the most moving parts of the video, Scott is seen staring longingly at Glasper on the piano, as she echoes the lyrics “Look up, then there’s, a beautiful man with a kind heart”. You’ll have to watch the full video to see how the beautifully constructed story unfolds.
Black Radio 2 is the follow-up album to the 2012 Grammy Award winning Black Radio, which won for Best R&B Album. Black Radio 2 features a slew of collaborations, ranging from artists like Faith Evans and Norah Jones to award-winning songwriters such as Claude Kelly (Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson) and Andrea Martin (Angie Stone, Monica). The result promises to be a soulful fusion of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop not to be missed. The Robert Glasper Experiment comes to World Cafe Live at the Queen on Monday, November 4th. Tickets and information can be found here.
Last Thursday evening, July 4th, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway filled with the sounds of music and the excitement of fireworks for the Wawa Welcome America Philly 4th of July Jam and Fireworks. See scenes from the celebration in the gallery below.
Questlove and Black Thought from The Roots have announced the lineup to this year’s Philly 4th of July Jam as part of the WaWa Welcome America! The lineup includes John Mayer, Ne-Yo, J.Cole, Demi Lovato, Grace Potter, and Jill Scott. You can get more information about all the WaWa Welcome America festivities here.
It was just another typical star studded day fun day of music at day two of Made In America yesterday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Jay-Z performed “99 Problems” with Pearl Jam. Pearl Jam covered The Who, The Clash and ended their set with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.” Drake brought out 2 Chainz to perform “No Lie,” then introduced French Montana to rap with him. Philly soulsinger Jill Scott brought Eve out on stage for a couple of songs. Jay-Z and Beyonce walked throughout the crowd and stood on the side of the stage for a dazzling set by Gary Clark, Jr. (Clark was the only artist to play both days). Tyler, the lead rapper from Odd Future, was dancing on the street to Drake. Even the fans got in on the action; Santigold invited several dozen audience members to dance on stage during “Creator.” While Pearl Jam were the headliner favorites of the day, it was the return of Run DMC that got the most exuberant reception from the crowd. Under a banner that said Jam Master Jay Forever (jay was murdered in 2002), Run and DMC rocked the classics including “Walk This Way,” “My Adidas,” “Mary, Mary,” and “Rock Box.” They paused a moment to remember their DJ and brought out Jay’s two sons, who are adept DJ’s themselves, for a short set. It was a poignant moment during MIA’s second incredible day of music. Below, watch a fan videos of Jay-Z and Pearl Jam performing “99 Problems.” Via Youtuber That Guy In Philly watch Run DMC’s “It’s Like That,” “It’s Tricky,” and “Walk This Way.” Go here to see Pearl Jam’s complete set list.
Drake, Chris Cornell, DJ Shadow, Gary Clark, Jr and more bands have been added to the Made In America festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd. The Jay-Z curated festival also featured performances from Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, D’Angelo and more. Complete lineup and ticket information here
This week, the latest issue of upstart local music mag JUMP Philly hits the streets, and tonight the staff takes to the XPN2 airwaves. Publisher G.W. Miller and a group of the magazine’s writers and photographers join me at 8 p.m. to guest host the second hour of the Philly Local Second shift, where they’ll play an assortment of artists featured in the latest issue (including cover star Jill Scott, indie rock mad scientist Shorty Boy-Boy and West Philly rapper Chill Moody), as well as artists artists performing at the various issue release shows they’ve got lined up (Bedroom Problems, at Temple’s Paley Library on Nov. 16; Toy Soldiers who play The Hard Rock Cafe on Nov. 17; and Nicos Gun, who are at The Blockley on Nov. 23). Tune in to their set tonight at 8 p.m. on XPN2.org or 88.5 HD-2.
You can listen to the album in its entirety here. From NPR Music:
Scott has come a long way since she was working as The Roots‘ hook girl. (Can you imagine a time when Scott rode the bus on the Things Fall Apart tour just to come out and sing the chorus she’d written for Erykah Badu to sing in “You Got Me”? And people were kind of bummed when she hit the stage — until they heard her sing, of course?) Scott began in Philadelphia as a spoken-word artist, and on The Light of the Sun, she incorporates that work into her songs cleverly. When she finds an opening to leaven her singing with speech, she goes for it, but within reason and to an end.
That end might be an offering to women when they’re feeling bruised or disappointed. Scott has publicly taken a few punches herself in recent years — a divorce, followed by a short relationship which left her a single parent. “God, please hear my call / I am afraid for me,” she sings in “Hear My Call.” “Love has burned me raw / I need your healing.” In that song, Scott is backed by swelling strings and tender piano; she says “please” over and over, with a different inflection every time. But in spite of the pleading, there isn’t anything ragged in her voice.