Jill Scott has been a busy girl. Over the past few years, the soul singer has appeared as the overweight and much-abused Sheila in the Tyler Perry movie
Why Did I Get Married? and last year's sequel, starred in the HBO/BBC television series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and had her first child, a boy with drummer Lil' John Roberts (whom she later divorced).
But the Philadelphia-born Scott hasn't turned her back on music. She's been in the recording studio since October preparing a new album, and is currently on tour with Maxwell.
Chatter: You've been in the recording studio for the last few months. How's that been going?
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C: Lately it's been pretty incredible, actually. I've worked with Terry Lewis, from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who did a lot of great work with Janet Jackson and Prince and Yolanda Adams. I'm so thrilled to work with this man, he's such a legend.
C: Any qualms about getting back in the studio?
JS: It was actually a little scary for me. I was a little cautious and not fully open. In acting, you're acting. You're not yourself at all. But when I'm singing, I have to be more of myself than I'm sometimes prepared for. There's a certain level of honesty that has to come through for me to be comfortable about putting music out into the world.
If I'm singing something joyous, I need to be joy-filled. That means I have to do things to expand my heart and make me smile inside, and then I can go and sing that song. Then I can tap into those emotions and pull it out when it comes time to sing it onstage so that everybody in the house gets to feel that too.
C: What's your set list going to be during your Houston show?
JS: It's going to be a mix. I'm going to sing some new songs that I'm really excited about. Definitely do some of the songs that people enjoy — I can't do them all, I only have 70 minutes. It's been a ten-year career and several albums, so I can't do everything.
C: Was this what you thought you were getting into when you started?
JS: It's bigger than I thought. I just wanted to sing, I just wanted to write. I hoped that people would like it and that was pretty much the extent of it. I didn't have any expectations. Everything just felt very fluid. At the time I was green, and that's not always a bad thing. Now I have to work at being more organic.
It's a dangerous place being an artist. And it should be. The more I do, the more I find out about myself. That is the biggest gift of all.
At press time, Little Joe Washington remained in the surgical intensive care unit at Ben Taub Hospital after undergoing emergency surgery for an obstructed bowel May 23. According to Washington's friend Reg Burns, the surgery was successful but the Houston bluesman was still unconscious, under sedation and breathing with the help of a ventilator. Washington's bass player, Chris Henrich, said that the singer/guitarist's grandson had also told him the kidney problems that put Washington in Ben Taub in April 2008 had flared up again, and that his grandfather would most likely require dialysis. Washington's last performance before his hospitalization was at his regular Tuesday-night residency at Boondocks May 18. "It was a great show," Henrich said.
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1. Various Artists, I Smell a Rat (LP)
2. Andre Williams, That's All I Need (LP)
3. The Black Keys, Brothers
4. Ding Dongs, Ding Dongs (LP)
5. Various Artists, Las Vegas Grind Vol.1 (LP)
6. Kris Kristofferson, Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends: Publishing Demos 1968-72
7. Reverend Beat-Man, "Don't Need no Cocaine" (45)
8. 13th Floor Elevators, The Contact Sessions
9. Mike Patton, Mondo Cane
10. Various Artists, Sun Rockabilly Meltdown
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Selections from TomZ's May 22 playlist
1. Joe McDermott, "Baby Kangaroo"
2. Mister Rogers, "Il y avait une fois"
3. Rachel Buchman, "Nu in the Middle"
4. Various Artists, "Puff the Magic Dragon"
5. Sesame Street cast, "The Number 5"
6. Steve, "Marvelous Day"
7. Various Artists, "The Ants Go Marching"
8. N.R.G., "Instruments of Destruction"
9. Captain Bags and Salty, "I'm a Singing Pirate"
10. Animaniacs, "Slappy Squirrel Theme"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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