Sunday, November 20, 2016

Soul world mourns Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones' time at the top was far too short. Her death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 60 came just a few short years after she burst upon the scene with her dynamic retro soul performances and recordings. She was singing gospel and doing backing vocals for many years but it wasn't until 1996, at a recording session backing Lee Fields, that her talent was really noticed. She recorded for the short lived Pure and Desco labels where her reputation grew. When Desco folded Gabriel Roth, who co-founded both labels, set up the Daptone label and Sharon, along with her new band the Dap-Kings featured on its first album.
Three more excellent albums followed - Naturally, 100 Days, 100 Nights, and I Learned The Hard Way - but it was as a live performer that Sharon was most exciting. I was rather late to the party and saw her for the first time only in 2010 at the Festival Louisianne in Lafayette (see photo below) where I was knocked out. When she appeared at the Barbican (pictured above) the following year her high energy act was something to behold. She modelled herself on James Brown and was every bit as hard working and exciting on stage as he was. 'She shook, shimmied and boogalooed her way across the stage', and 'Midway through her act she moved into a frenetic series of sixties dances, including the boogaloo, the jerk and the funky chicken, which must have exhausted the audience, never mind Sharon herself,' I wrote.
So sad that such a tremendous performer should be cut down in her prime. A devastating blow to the world of soul.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home