Georgio Sabino the official photographer Jill Scott. My time was extremely amazing
Photo credit Georgio Sabino III
When I hear either one of these voices sometimes I shiver because it was an amazing time to follow and record the history.
The latest powerhouse joining the ranks of the one-name “songstress sisterhood” a-la Sade, Whitney, Mariah, Erykah & Mary, is the tremendously talented Jill. Sans Scott, you still tremble at the name.
Jill. Her “Beautifully Human” tour graciously made its rounds to C-town in Spring, leaving neo-soul heads and hip-hoppers lucky enough to see & hear her perform, mesmerized. Her Cleveland connection was brief but breathtaking! An unusually warm March evening outside-gave way to a buxom stage backdrop inside called Scott. The songstress silhouetted behind the velvet Playhouse curtain, was patiently waiting to bless the stage with her beauty not to mention, bomb-ass vocals! The indoor venue enhanced the natural acoustics emitting from windpipes that would not soon be forgotten.
Opening for Ms. Jill, was a label-mate. A faceless, nameless warm-up act designed to settle the roaring crowd, and create a diversion for the early birds. A sultry saxophonist followed– blowing instrumental ballads of Scott’s past playlists. The familiar tunes turned the awaiting larvae in our souls into butterflies in our bellies! SHE’S coming.
With the energy of the sax man’s odes-du-Jill still lingering. SHE stole the stage. SHE commanded her followers to their feet, and we humbly obliged. SHE could’ve commanded the sun to re-shine after retiring for the evening-and it would have done so with haste! Just her smile, her larger-than-life presence could’ve made mountains feel minuscule. “You’re here. I’m pleased. I really dig your company-y … ” and we yours, Jill. We couldn’t wait to take the Long Walk tonight.
3 songs in, Ms. Scott encouraged the entranced crowd to come closer to the stage. Despite being a mere 7 rows back, I still fought my way to the 6th, then 5th trying to come ever closer to the enigma that is SHE. We forfeited comfy seats in 7, to stand in stilettos in row 2 the rest of the show. The painful trade was well worth it.
The most palatable part of her show sprung from the song “Do You Remember?” She talked to the crowd as if she was having a “sistah-girl,” down-home talk about love and pride and just “keepin’ it real”! Her monologue reminding black men to “remember” her & other black women– to say “hello” when they see a black woman vs. turning up their noses at us. The primarily black female crowd erupted in enthusiastic applause, cheers, and “You go, girls!” Jill was speaking for us, and did it with style, poise and conviction.
Rounding out the show was “Gettin’ in the Way”, “It’s Love” and “The Way”. When Jill finally left the stage, the audience made it clear that they felt slighted-screaming out “He loves me!” … “He loves me!” Pause. “He loves me!” Silence. It seemed like forever, but Mama didn’t disappoint– returning to quench the thirsty crowd’s cries with a low, melodic hum echoing from behind the curtain. The roaring crowd grew instantly mute. Then … the ultimate serenade. “He loves meeee especialll-lly different… ever-y … time … ” SHE emerged. Again. This time, more beautiful and glowing than the first. Shrieks and screams drowned out the very tune we’d been waiting all concert to hear! “He Loves Me” lasted long .. but could’ve spanned a lifetime for all we cared-a fitting song to end not only a romantic evening, but a soulful showing from a singer who just oozes “black love.”
She sincerely & graciously thanked all of her us for “feeling” her & showing so much love. It was well earned. What’s most impressive about the melody was her “down to earth” demeanor-despite being obviously BEAT from throat to feet! As she stood stage-front, sweaty, bottled water bobbing from a bent finger, grinning like a Cheshire cat on Quaaludes tears welled up in her eyes. The pure emotion flooding those beautiful brown windows, showed her soul. And it was real. It was real. We cried right along with her.
Jill Scott is a force to be reckoned with now, and for many decades to come. She’s bringing back the lost art of love, being IN love, GIVING love & just ENJOYING life in its simplest forms. Her music spoke to us. No it roared, hummed, and howled like a beautiful banshee! Keep doing what you do, girl. We’re listening.
Miss. January .J. Keaton
AM PA – 19 Action News
“When I Hear Jill Sing” By Gregory Mills-El Bey
Aretha Franklin is the queen of soul, Mary J. Blige is the queen of Hip-Hop; so that makes Jill Scott, the reigning queen of Neo-Soul. To hear Scott sing is like, anticipating hearing the angelic soprano in the church choir that the entire congregation encourages to pursue a record deal! To hear Scott sing is like waiting to hear the birds in the morning!
Looking into the brown eyes of 32-year-old Scott, is like looking into the souls of her Harlem Renaissance ancestors, who intended to create music that generations would enjoy. The life music that Scott creates is suitable for the entire family to listen to. No matter your religious affiliations, cultural preference, everyone can enjoy Scott’s sounds and message. When Scott’s music is being played you don’t have to worry about the parental advisory that the music labels are forced to put on some artists CD cases.
Scott’s latest project “Beautifully Human Words and Sounds Vol. II,” is her third album that solidifies Scott as a songstress/diva who doesn’t have to show off her what her mama gave her (flesh) to sell albums; nor does Scott has to apologize for her thick frame in order to be accepted by the mainstream!
“It doesn’t really matter to me who you love, as long as you are loving. The problem is it doesn’t seem like anybody’s loving sisters anymore. We are so out of style. What happened?” said Scott in an Essence Magazine interview. Fortunately, for Scott’s fans and many women who take on a similar frame and frame of mind; Scott is helping to get those sisters to be loved again!
Scott, a North Philadelphia native has added to her artistic resume with appearances on the UPN sitcom Girlfriends and a role in the Showtime movie Cave dwellers, costarring Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick; not bad for a woman who doesn’t fit that Jennifer Lopez Halle Berry mold.
Weather Scott realizes it or not, Scott has become a positive example for all women and for the Holistic lifestyle. To witness Scott’s demeanor on stage and off reminds you of that girl in high school that everyone knew and respected, due to the way she made others feel. Scott’s music is very much needed in a society that has been forced feed to admire gangsters and thugs.
The music industry is a lot like a fickle significant other whom is self consumed in them and who lives by the model ‘what have you done fore me lately.’ However, with Scott’s approach to creating music, admires can wait for a quality project much like music fans did with Sade’s eight year hiatus from the music industry. Scott croons an angelic melody that has lyrics of inspiration, that’s why fans can wait for a quality project such as Beautifully Human Words and Sounds Vol II.
With hits like: Living My Life like its Golden….a subliminal message that weighs heavily on the cerebella and ones subconscious mind; are messages that the music industry needs. Just as the generation X and the new echo boomer generation hears negative stories and messages of being a gangster. Scott is extremely versatile, because if you see one of her live performances you will witness this Neo-Soul diva perform opera. Scott also represents those diamonds in the rough in ‘hoods’ across the country that just need a chance to be heard.
Scott’s music is internationally accepted and brings balance to the universe; and her holistic appeal is the type of music that helps create and sustain life.