By: Noxolo Mafu
Jill Scott?s 2011 neo-soul/jazz compilation album released by former management, Hidden Beach has come as an affirming testament to the rare talent that Scott boasts. The album entitled, The Original Jill Scott From The Vault Vol. 1 is a melodic product which stands as an extension to the early works of Scott?s debut album, Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol.1 (2000).
The highly debated compilation album was due toa recent dispute and compromise between Scott and Hidden Beach. Reports confirm that the early contractual exit by Scott from the management group, prior to the distribution of theagreed upon six studio album deal. This resulted in the release of a ten track album of Scott?s formally unreleased material.
Every song is a moment in time, every line a reason to rhyme, every choice a melody these lyrics from the song, Dear Mr. And Mrs Record Industry capture the intricate imagery used by Scott throughout the album. Each song works as a soul bumping ,spirit jerking soundtrack that magnifies the depth within the unscripted chaos that life presents. The songstress plays through a melodic narrative of her experiences of love, self awareness and growth as an artist. Her cover version of Bill Withers, Lovely Day produced by DJ Jazzy Jeff,triggers the groove in ones body within the first minute. From the up-tempo jazz influence comes a highly instrumental yet melancholic display of the songstress experiences found in songs such as, Come to the Light. The fluidity of the transition lacks musically while lyrically-still holds poetic value.
Curated by Scott and Hidden Beach management, the album takes the avid and elementary listener to a throw back of Jilly from Philly (Philadelphia), who lured listeners with her soul bearing majestic truths in 2000. Production from the likes of James Maggins, Adam Blackstone and Dre & Vidal highlight the starry eyed artist who, against the current socio-political backdrop appears to be reminiscant of simpler times. The album, as the lead on a two part volume release, gives a splash of funk and classical undertones to the wider genre of neo-soul jazz.
The compilation is more than an example of bureaucratic comprise. It reveals a genuine narrative that isolates moments of realisation and present commentary. The listener gets to experience the rich dimensions of Scotts vocals and lyric talent with the ability to reflect, over a tight beat and smooth instrumentals.