Just before leaving Philly to attend school in Florida for what would become my career in the music industry, an album was released that would change the trajectory of soul music forever. D'Angelo would return to the airwaves with Voodoo and take over. My experiences weren't directly related to this album (although I can loosely attach my musical milestones to the releases of his albums), but it made a difference across the landscape. This week is no different.
As I put the finishing touches on this project's formal proposal for contributors and investors last week, the world received notification that D'Angelo was finished and releasing his third album Black Messiah days later. At this point, I'm sure everyone has heard about it or listened to it obsessively; and it's only Wednesday. For those of you that haven't, it's well worth the listen. Either you love it or you hate it, but the overwhelming response among social media has been positive. It features the usual cast including Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson on drums, Roy Hargrove (presumably) on trumpet and Pino Palladino on bass, with some other additions/substitutions.
Although D'Angelo was the big deal this week, it was a busy week for soul in the city of Philadelphia. Songstress Marsha Ambrosious returned to the UK for a few days and performed, inviting Natalie Stewart on stage to perform some of Floetry's hits.
Meanwhile in the states, Carol Riddick released the video to her latest single, the Carvin & Ivan produced "Love Like I've Never Been Hurt Before", directed by Okayplayer alum Brian Kyle Atkins.
An associate of The Roots and member of Black Thought's Money Making Jam Boys collective, S.T.S. released a collaboration with DJ Jazzy Jeff and his progeny Dayne Jordan, entitled "How Philly Used to Sound", a soulful homage to the sound of Philadelphia.
And finally, Bilal appeared on the Stephen Colbert show performing alongside Kendrick Lamar, debuting an untitled track from Lamar's upcoming album.
With Philly soul making this much noise this early in the week, during the traditionally slow fourth quarter, it's a wonder what 2015 holds.