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Issue 1089

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Judith Hill: Pizza Express Holborn 19/07/18

Judith Hill: Pizza Express Holborn 19/07/18 @bluesandsoul.com
Judith Hill: Pizza Express Holborn 19/07/18 @bluesandsoul.com Judith Hill: Pizza Express Holborn 19/07/18 @bluesandsoul.com Judith Hill: Pizza Express Holborn 19/07/18 @bluesandsoul.com Judith Hill: Pizza Express Holborn 19/07/18

There are not many artists who could pull off a headband and orange culottes but Judith Hill is no ordinary one, believe me, this lady has paid her dues and is developing into a great live act to go and see. She has a full sound too, bolstered by a six-piece band that includes mum and dad on keys and funky bass respectively.

Funky and feisty she delighted a packed audience with some well-crafted funk and soul and her keys, guitar skills and expressive Aretha styled vocals will stand her in good stead in building a European audience that she's well and truly capable of drawing.

My only minor criticism is she needs to connect more with her audience especially in the small club environment (just like Andy Allo did when she too, played the Pizza Express recently) and avoid poppier stuff which was, to be fair scarce, but when she strays from the 'church' the music is frankly, hit and miss.

Thankfully there's enough quality in the tank as her new single "The Pepper Club" (which incidentally got a rave review here) sounded supa funky and the Prince devotees in the house loved it - she grooves hard on a white strat too, like a serious mofo! Other highlights were the Wonderesque "Angel In The Dark", the impressive "Irreplaceable Lover",The Staples Singers' Curtis Mayfield-penned "Let's Do It Again", where her powerful backing vocalist got to briefly upstage her (and talking about bv's she'd be better swapping the other one with a 'Maceo') and "Cry, Cry, Cry" from her excellent Prince produced album really was the icing on the cake replete with an extended guitar solo that filled the balmy London air long after we had gone.

So there you are fully expressed, so striking, that I wouldn't blame you if you suspect her talent to be part of God’s handiwork well not quite but nearly when you've had Prince Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder as your former preternatural bosses. Hill wears those influences heartily on her sleeve that augers well for her future. I look forward to her imminent second album too, bring it on!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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