December 2, 2007

THE FUNK OF THREE WOMEN:

Soul provider: Sharon Jones takes her throne as the "Queen of Funk" (Justin Roberts 11/27/2007, San Diego CityBeat)

Who needs three women when you have one Sharon Jones?

Producers at the now-defunct Brooklyn label Desco Records found themselves asking the same question in 1996 when Jones, a former corrections officer and Wells Fargo armored-car guard, arrived in their studios to record backing vocals for soul legend Lee Fields.

“They wanted three girls for the part,” Jones explains, “but I said, ‘Why use three girls when I can take on all three parts?’” [...]

Jones tried to break into the music business in her early 20s but was turned down, primarily, she says, because of an undercurrent of racism running through the industry.

“They were telling me, because of my dark skin, I didn’t have the look they wanted,” the 51-year-old Jones says. “You know, they told me I was too dark, too short, too fat. All of that bottled up in me. But I knew God gave me a gift and that one day people would accept me for that.”

These days, people are more than accepting Jones—they’re celebrating her. In recent years, critics have lauded her band, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, with glowing reviews, comparing Jones to Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight or referring to her as the “female James Brown.” Members of the European press have even crowned Jones the

“Queen of Funk,” a title that she relishes.


Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2007 6:08 PM
Comments

I've been listening to other two Dap Kings disks (Dap Dippin' and Naturally) quite a bit. I like 'em better with Sharon better than I like 'em with Amy.

Posted by: ted welter at December 2, 2007 6:50 PM

oj,
Your previously recommended, and purchased, Betty Davis CD's were indeed Funk.
The ordered Sharon music is far from funk, just a great bunch of soul/R&B/blues music.
If you like Sharon, you should've also loved, & linked to, the great Bettye LaVette CD I sent you.

Posted by: Mike at December 2, 2007 9:47 PM

I don't know about 100 Days 100 Nights, but Dap Dippin' is most definitely funky in a James Brown kind of way. The other disc I have, Naturally, tends more towards the soul end of the spectrum. But the genres are not mutually exclusive. Funk music can be soulful and soul music can be funky. The Dap Kings are all that.

Which Bettye LaVette do you recommend?

Posted by: ted welter at December 2, 2007 10:14 PM
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