The title of Ashford and Simpson?s “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” remains the yardstick of R&B. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings?s 100 Days 100 Nights, featuring a veteran singer who sounds like old school soul circa 1972 is part of her very DNA, revels in feel, a quality that just can?t be faked. Jones, who after a promising start in the 1970s, dropped out of the music business — eventually becoming a Rikers Island corrections officer before her return in the 90s — has the kind of mighty vocal assurance that announces itself from the first note on. Yet what best confirms her as the genuine article is the ability to hold back a voluminous voice to best effect; a classic quality that separates her from the mellisma — obsessed showoffs that clog today?s airwaves. 100 Days is Jones?s third collaboration with the Dap-Kings, and the palpable comfort between singer and band is one of the album?s greatest joys. The Daps had a recent sprinkling of second-hand glory when producer Mark Ronson turned to them while crafting Brit-pop sensation Amy Winehouse?s Back to Black to achieve a sound that no modern technology could conjure up. The Dap- Kings may be for hire, but playing with Jones must feel like coming home for them. –
About the Author
Steve Futterman writes the "Jazz and Standards" listings for The New Yorker.