Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Tune of the Week – “Need U Bad”

Once upon a time…. New York City, October 2005. On The Record is hanging out in the city and staying in an apartment on Thompson Street for a month or so. Great times. Nice ‘hood. Lovely people. Fantastic bagels. Remind …

Thu, Aug 14, 2008, 09:15

   

Once upon a time….

New York City, October 2005. On The Record is hanging out in the city and staying in an apartment on Thompson Street for a month or so. Great times. Nice ‘hood. Lovely people. Fantastic bagels. Remind me to tell you another time about the morning we found Jon Bon Jovi filming a video on our stoop. And the fact that I thought he was Bryan Adams.

Anyway, I digress. One night, Gilles Peterson was hosting a BBC Sessions joint at the Canal Rooms at the bottom of the street to mark Giant Step’s 15th birthday so we went along. Aside from GP spinning tunes, he also had some guests doing some singing and playing, including Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid, Dwele, Bilal and Amp Fiddler. At the end of the night, there was a tribute to Larry Mizell who was all emotional about these people paying their respects to him. Jamie Cullum sang too, but we’ll forget about that, if it’s OK with you.

The act who took everyone’s breath away on the night, though, was this Philly kid called Jazmine Sullivan. Man, she killed us. A truly awesome voice, full of soul and funk and sheer raw potential. You just knew she had it, whatever the hell “it” is, as she belted out some tunes on that stage. Apparently she had started out singing in churches when she was 5 years of age, appeared on Showtime at the Apollo TV show as a precocious 11 year old and then hung out with various Philly gangs like the Black Lily collective during her teens. After a few songs, you knew that the 18 year old on that stage was a star.

Years go by. Music keeps getting made. Next big things come and go. And I naturally forget all about Jaz Sullivan. Then, out of the blue in a spot of e-mail tennis (yo Eoin!) earlier this week, there’s mention of her. What the hell?

The current story is as follows. She was signed (to Jive) and then she was dropped and then she was signed again (this time to J Records). “Need U Bad” is a tune from her soon-come debut album, “Fearless”, with Missy Elliott giving it some welly (Pepa from Salt-N-Pepa is in there too).

Close your eyes and it’s the sound of summer. It’s probably raining outside (or about to rain outside) so don’t look out the window, don’t ruin the illusion. This is what sunshine pop sounds like. It’s a little bit Lauryn before Lauryn went loopy, a little bit Aretha, a little bit sunsplash reggae, a little bit R&B, a little bit kooky. Hey, it could be the start of a beautiful new relationship.

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