Jill Scott is a brilliant artist. We’ve proclaimed this from her landmark debut recording Who is Jill Scott? and throughout her career. The proof was obvious. It could be found in every recorded “Word and Sound” that resonated from her lips. Further proof was obvious when she took the stage. She owned it, and still does to this day. Jill also showed the world, what we knew from the beginning, that she was an amazing actress. At this point, after her brilliant offerings as a recording artist, mesmerizing live performances and her best-selling outings as a writer and poet and her riveting metamorphosis into characters as an actress, I don’t think that there are many aware of her output, that continue to challenge the position that we’ve maintained since day one.
She’s proved our assertion with awards from almost every relevant collective recognizing exceptional talent. One would think there is not much left to prove or certainly left to prove it to. Then we opened our vaults. Historically “Vault” collections have often been a nice coda for fans at the end of ones career providing an unheard glimpse to an artist that may not be discovered. It is precisely because “Vault” projects often contain material that was stored there and unreleased during its time of creation for good reason while the best material is allowed to see the light of day.
Jill Scott’s so-called “Vault” at Hidden Beach got populated with extraordinary unheard masters simply because of the remarkable output of its creator. Like many artists with every record made to date, Jill always over cut for the project. With each and every record it was always painful process of eliminating one song or another purely based on the technical limitations of a single CD or the expected appetite for a new album listening experience. The only consolation prize being, as we would start the next album we knew there were gems polished and ready to be enjoyed and admired by millions.
For example: the adventurous journey of “Running Away” was one of, if not the first song recorded for Jill’s last studio project. An absolute favorite of every-one who heard it, we were extremely excited to let the listener get a glimpse of Jill’s genius in progress as the best version of the song was recorded simultaneous with its creation! In the end, its full-length version found here on this Deluxe Edition which includes the remarkable talking and improvisation was simply too long to fit. We consoled ourselves knowing this wonderful song would be a part of a future offering. Similarly, Jill’s (and ours through Jill) gift from God in the way of the song and “And I Heard…Do You Understand?” was planned to be an anchor song on her next studio project for Hidden Beach. Accordingly the selections from this first “Vault” project were intended for your ears at some point and we are thankful that point is now. Not that anything else was needed to showcase her diversity and artistry behind the microphone or her ability with the pen but we believe this: Jill Scott’s “Vault” at Hidden Beach rivals the most celebrated artist’s collections in modern music history. Like great wines that are sometimes left in storage for that special occasion when it’s complexity peaks inside the barrel we hope you enjoy and savor it now, this fine collection of Bordeaux, like a sommelier let loose in the cellars of Rothschild Vineyards*.
*PS If you are over 21 and a wine lover try pairing your favorite red full-bodied complex vintage with the amazing performance found on “Holding On” (another rare glimpse of unfiltered brilliance at work). Ahhhhh….
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