Sharon Jones Has Died

In a week of sad deaths, I have no personal stake in the death of Sharon Jones.

I’m not heartless, I just mean that despite her gifts as a singer, and the obvious talents of the Dap Kings, I found much of their music more a simulation of other music than something organic. Music of nostalghia rather than experience.

I always put Sharon Jones in the same basket of imponderables that I put Gillian Welch, an Appalachian archivist who mimicked old styles more than create her own.

That said, Sharon Jones had a great soulful voice, as Gillian Welch did fine Appalachian holler, and with the Dap Kings made sounds that were totally derived from the old music, but live in real time. I think that means they made me think I was living in those days, though I won’t testify to that.

In any case, she has died, and left a funky body of work behind.


2 thoughts on “Sharon Jones Has Died

  1. I would put the question “Why is the whole less than the sum of the parts?” The parts are all there. I think the answer is songs. They all sound generic, cut from a pattern without any spark and especially without any hooks. You can get away with that if the groove is deep enough but the band is coasting on top instead of plunging into the funk. As for nostalgia, they only remind me that I’d rather be listening to Mavis Staples or Lavern Baker, or the Supremes.

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