Here is D'Angelo's bit from last night's BET Awards:
And if you're a jazz person who feels nothing from this performance, I'm not sure we should be talking. It starts out with a track from D'Angelo's groundbreaking 2000 album Voodoo, before moving on to something presumably from his new album, due out either this year (unlikely) or next. I'm sure I will have more to say about this band after I catch D'Angelo on tour this summer. For now we all have this clip to absorb, which leads me to a few stray thoughts:
- Contrary to the squib by BET's web video editor or whoever, this is most certainly not "D'Angelo's Sexiest Performance Ever!" (C'mon.) The fact that we still use this language around him means we've learned nothing from last month's GQ profile.
- I wouldn't call him rusty or camera-shy, but neither is this a spotlight-devouring star turn. D'Angelo probably looks happiest at the piano, where he tosses off some improvised runs over the sort of groove that Prince repurposed from J.B.
- What is with the reaction shots? Has this sort of jam become so alien within the current R&B firmament that it can only meet with puzzlement? (Looking at you, Nicki Minaj.) I do like it when Kanye leans across Kim Kardashian to make a joke, tho.
- Chris Dave.