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Favorite Funk of 2015 … Including Glorious Soul by Judith Hill

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Judith Hill (Photo: Medill DC / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. / Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Judith_Hill_crop.jpg)

Judith Hill (Photo: Medill DC / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. / Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Judith_Hill_crop.jpg)

Listening to entries on fellow funkateers‘ „Best of 2015“ lists made me realize that I missed several great new albums last year. My instant favorite was „Back in Time“, the October release by Judith Hill whose funky soul adds justification to her middle name „Glory“. Her debut was produced by Prince who has a spotty history with regard to picking female protegées who are worth of his musical genius and whose own talents equal their looks.

With Judith, Prince apparently found the perfect match. „Back in Time“ contains many of the elements which I liked during Prince’s heyday (and I am not a full-fledged fan – I am not to keen on many of his greatest non-funky hits; e. g., „Purple Rain“ and „Let’s Get Crazy“). It has raw funk, sultry soul (without the „sexcesses“ we are used to), irresistible grooves, punchy horns annd intricate arrangements.

You can’t tell for a single minute that this was a rush job, as Anil Dash reports for cuepoint („Prince Presents Judith Hill: Back in Time, Just in Time“):

Apparently, Prince and Hill put this album together in 2 or 3 weeks, and now they’ve dropped it for free. If this is the kind of work that can still be put together at Paisley Park at the drop of a hat, there’s one more great voice that Prince should put this kind of strong songwriting and mature production behind: his own.

Having said this, I should add that the albums only seems to be a teaser of what Judith truly is capable of. As demonstrated here:

In her report „A midnight conversation with Prince, Judith Hill, and the Minnesota music press“ about a March 2015 showcase at Paisley Park, current’s Andrea Swensson raves about a live performance:

Prince quietly turned to Judith and asked, “So, do you want to jam?”

And with that, we were led back out of the studio and into Paisley Park’s smaller performance space, where Hill and her band performed a fiery, funky four-song set for the crowd. Enough people had gathered that it made it hard for Prince to see the stage, so he spent the first two songs jumping up and down from the back of the room in his light-up shoes and climbing up the room’s staircase to get a better view.

Curious? Here is the entire album:

You’ll appreciate Prince’s contributions even more when you compare „Back in Time“ to the much less striking songs Judith Hill recorded for Spike Lee’s 2012 movie „Red Hook Summer“:

I put together Spotify playlists with the top albums from „Best of Funk“ lists that were compiled by two Facebook contacts: Vladan Spasojevic …

… and Rickey Vincent, host of „The History of Funk“ on KPFA and author of „Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One“:

Here is Rickey’s list with reviews.

For more great current funk, check out this blog post from November 2014:
Crowdfunkin’: Best of Current Funk (Spotify Playlist)

Written by Peter Jebsen

3. Januar 2016 um 18:13

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  1. […] Beiträge über Funk-Musik / Judith Hill / Ex-Paisley-Park Künstler George […]

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