Eleven years ago she posed, "Who Is Jill Scott?" Fast forward to 2011 and Ms. Scott's tussling with her neo -foremothers for the Queen of Neo crown.
Tonight, nearly 5000 old fans and newcomers to her lyrical delights bore witness to Scott's sassy spice and got their groove on. Despite the nights chill outside, inside 02 Academy Brixton sweat rained as the effervescent crowd cheered to the 11 piece bands opening bars of "Shame." Jill "I'm the MAGNIFICENT" Scott appeared ready to get the party rolling with a 22-song two hour journey into her love, heartaches, poetry and empowerment.
Dressed in skin tight stripy leggings, casual top, and big hoop earrings, Scott's new flowing locks were twisted into a Mohican. She boomed with songs from her new CD, "The Light Of The Sun" including "Rolling Hills" rocked out "Some Other Time," and delivered to the beat of the drum "Quick" as well as classics making us reflect on our pasts, such as a funky Slowly, Surely" medley with go-go infused "It's Love."
Mr V. from
"The Pipes" (backing vocals) did a fantastic job helping out
on "So In Love" replacing Anthony Hamilton. Scott thundered
liberation of "Womanifesto" telling all ears "Clearly,
I am not a fat ass" in '60's power-mode.
Since untangling herself from past challenges Scott's slimmer, has a fresh new look, new self-owned label, new material and new producers but retains her old Scott likeability, lyrical dexterity and wisdom. Her ability to capture honesty and observations of love and life, blended with soft silky speaking voice and golden vocals are a pleasure.
The 39-year old effortlessly shifted genres and gears - neo soul to opera, uptempo to melodic slow jam - to deliver faultlessly to a consumed audience. Eloquently displayed especially so when she sang of her past love, "He Love's Me (Lyzel in E Flat)" over a piano intro, Scott sang her jazz blues blended into a haunting operatic chorus then melted into Spanish for a mesmerising climax, paused for a coy giggle, then strolled home over cheers.
This show was more glam than past and she ashamedly replaced intimate conversation with extra songs. But, she did share some small talk, and one memorable Jill-ism was, "When your boss is being an ass kill em wid kindness." And her closing words were, "Just smile and f*** em up wid your happiness!"
Jilly from Philly's brimming with unadulterated sophisticated soul and indulged us with two encores, one new track ("And I Heard" courtesy of her old labels recent release, "The Original Jill Scott From The Vault Vol.1"), and strong talk at least crowning her the Queen of Hearts if not Neo.