Fans have been waiting 14 years for the follow-up to D’Angelo’s virtuoso R&B classic, “Voodoo.” When that new LP comes is anyone’s guess, but rest assured Billboard has a new D’Angelo live cut you’ve probably never heard before — unless you were at his Sept. 14, 1995 gig at the Jazz Café in London. Below, check out D’Angelo cover Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love with You” on his live cut, “I’m Glad You’re Mine.”
The previously unreleased song comes from the forthcoming “Live at the Jazz Café, London: The Complete Show” album, due March 25 on Virgin/UME. Six of its 11 tracks come from 1996’s “Live At The Jazz Café, London,” a valued collector’s item, as it was only released in Japan. Five of its tracks (including this song) are previously unheard rarities added just now for the new edition.
“Let’s see if y’all remember this one,” says D’Angelo to introduce the live cover. The starting point might be familiar, but D takes Green’s song for a journey well beyond its original three-minute run time and lets it sprawl out into an improv-friendly six-minute affair. In the liner notes, he reflects on how his love for jazz and knowledge of music history birthed tracks like this:
“My root is gospel, and I grew up listening to Prince and hip-hop on the radio. Jazz came much later. I am like a music historian, and just listen to old music whenever I have time, like vintage jazz. I think that’s where my jazziness is coming from. I love jazz,” he says.
In January 2013, Questlove told Billboard that D’Angelo’s long-awaited new album was 99% done and that he’d been putting in late night drum sessions for what sounded like an “instant classic or his generation’s version of Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On.'”
Back in 1995, this recorded London set served to introduce a vital new singer to a new country after “Brown Sugar” had hit in the U.S., but before it had been released in England. Here is the official track list of “Live at the Jazz Café, London: The Complete Show”:
2. Fencewalk (Mandrill cover)
3. Sweet Sticky Thing (Ohio Players cover)
4. Jonz in My Bones
5. Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine
6. Sh*t, Damn, Motherf*cker
7. Cruisin’ (Smokey Robinson cover)
8. I’m Glad You’re Mine (Al Green cover)
11. Can’t Hide Love
12. Brown Sugar
* previously unreleased