Scott, Jill : Experience: Jill Scott

Who is Jill Scott? Well, she's quite good, whatever...

Hailed by certain tastemakers as "the hip-hop Patti Smith", Jill Scott is a

young African-American street poet that broke through last year with her

debut full-lengther, 'Who Is Jill Scott?'. Some would probably describe it as

"a mature blend" of R&B, jazz, and hip-hop - that way, you see, it sounds

just perfect for the coffee table. But Jill Scott deserves a fairer billing

than that, and the reason why is writ large on the weightily-titled - funky

drum-roll please! - 'Experience: Jill Scott'.

Essentially a live album, 'Experience...' finds Scott fronting a full,

organic live band of musicians, in performances recorded in Philadelphia and

Washington DC earlier this year. Sounds a thriller, eh? But look beyond the

spasm-inducing bass solos to Scott herself: a frequently magnetic performer, with a certain brave, defiant spirit that her peers lack. It's much in evidence on the assured 'One Is The Magic Number' and on 'Thickness' - an

eloquent, poetic, educative tract about youth, exploitation, and sexuality.

A handful of new studio recordings feature lukewarm, slick guest appearances

from 4Hero and Common. Skip 'em. It's only when Jill Scott's purr becomes a

growl that 'Experience...' really fulfils its promise.

The hip-hop Patti

Smith? Not yet, but here's hoping.

Louis Pattison
6 / 10

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