It’s been awhile since friends and lovers of Van Hunt and D’Angelo have heard new music from them. Two of R&B’s best talents to come to prominence in the past twenty years, I find myself craving new music from these two musician/ singer/ songwriters.
D’Angelo first struck a cord with the world at large with his hit “Brown Sugar.” Ten years passed before he re-surfaced with “Voodoo,” which garnered him two Grammy Awards. In fact, both D’Angelo and Hunt have Grammys. Van Hunt for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group w/ Vocals, for a remake of “Family Affair.” A collaboration with John Legend and Joss Stone in 2006. D’Angelo has scored two honors, one for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the song “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”; the other for Best R&B Album, awarded to “Voodoo,” in 2000. Prior to Van Hunt’s debut self-titled release, he penned the Dionne Farris hit “Hopeless,” which was featured on the “Love Jones” soundtrack. His follow-up sophomore album “Jungle on the Dance Floor” featured a guest appearance from fellow Cali native Nikka Costa — another of whose music is sorely missed.
After Grammy acolades were bestowed upon D’Angelo, his live performance at The Jazz Cafe in London was released. It actually took place during the early marketing period for “Brown Sugar.” Hunt sold out three nights at The Jazz Cafe in 2007. The last we heard of Van Hunt was an EP titled “Popular Machine,” which was to precede the never released CD “Popular” on Blue Note records. Now posted on All Music Guide for Hunt is an item titled “Blues At Home, Volume 1,” an Indy release. There are Indy releases from D’Angelo listed too. Four titles in fact, “YODA: The Monarch of Neo-Soul”; “YODA II”; “Interpretations: Remakes,” a cover album; and “James River: Album Prelude.” Amidst the four projects there are new songs, as well as tunes that have appeared on various soundtracks. A few of the songs appear on more than one of the four Indy offerings. Perpetually in the studio, collaborators like Questlove says he’s been working with D’Angelo again, and producer Mark Ronson told MTV recently that he’s been working with D as well.
from MTV: The story goes that D… heard Ronson’s work on Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ and decided that he had to work with him. So, naturally, when D’Angelo called, Ronson answered… while he was “floored” by the opportunity, Ronson also realized that he could probably get D’Angelo to record some vocals for his album too… on Ronson’s brand-new Record Collection disc, D does appear — contributing vocals to a song called “Glass Mountain Trust.” One of my favorite guest appearances from D’Angelo is his duet with Lauryn Hill on her CD “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The two sing “Nothing Even Matters,” and Hill was supposed to return the favor on D’s album “Voodoo.” After delaying production as long as he could waiting for Hill to do a remake of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Feel Like Making Love,” he sang the track solo.
Among soundtracks D’Angelo appears on include: Jason’s Lyric; High School High; Belly; Get On the Bus; Space Jam; Down in the Delta; Men In Black; Baby Boy; Scream 2; The Best Man; A Thin Line Between Love and Hate; He’s Just Not That Into You and the recently released, No Strings Attached. He covered Eddie Kendrick’s “Girl You Need a Change of Mind” on Spike Lee’s “Get On the Bus,” and did a duet of “Your Precious Love,” with Erykah Badu for “High School High.” Van Hunt’s music has been appeared on several soundtracks as well. In addition to “Love Jones,” Van’s songs are featured on the soundtracks: Something New; The Honeymooners; Never Die Alone; Coach Carter; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; All About Us; and Just Wright.
Van Hunt is scheduled to perform at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl on March 3 & 4th and 10th & 11th. He’ll take part in venue’s events called BowlLive2 and Bowl Train. Other artists taking part in either and/ or both include the legendary Maceo Parker, Bernie Worwell, Corey Glover, Pharoahe Monch, Soulive, Robert Randolph and Ivan Neville.
For the FUNKIN’ Love of Good Music