Jill Scott celebrates 20 years of elegance with Fillmore show

Twenty years after its release, “Who Is Jill Scott?” remains one of the most quintessential albums of the neo-soul era. To commemorate its anniversary, the Philadelphia-born singer-songwriter and actress has commenced a national tour to celebrate both its legacy and the start of the artist’s now-illustrious career.

Tuesday’s stop in Minneapolis served as a full-circle moment as Scott recaptured the magic of her first release in a two-hour showcase that left fans wanting more.

Christening the recently opened Fillmore in Minneapolis, Scott, an artist that is revered for her vocal prowess, performed each song within the sequence that they appear on the album. Graceful in stride, she began the show with the album’s opener “Do You Remember” a perfect means to capture the magic of the album and also the evening ahead.

Accompanied by historical images of Black culture through television and film, Scott, dressed in a colorful jumpsuit, stood confidentially on stage soaking in the audience’s affection through each recital of her lyrics.

Ever the conversationalist, the songstress broke into dialogue several times throughout the show to express her gratitude for the 20 years of support. “I wrote these songs 20 years ago and I am so grateful for all of the love you’ve given to me over the years,” the artist expressed between songs.

Scott, whose debut album coincided with follow up releases by soul contemporaries D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, has established longtime acclaim in large part to her authenticity, art, and extraordinary vocal range and ability.

Those qualities were most prevailing during performances of early crowd favorites “Gettin’ in the Way,” “He Loves Me” and “A Long Walk,” with the latter needing to be re-performed by Scott due to large audience participation.

“This is live music done by live musicians. My voice is also real, so we’re gonna take this from the top,” the songstress proclaimed, reassuring the crowd that they were witnessing art in its purest form.

One wardrobe change later and crowd participation reached a fever pitch within seconds of arguably the album’s most notable cut, “The Way.” The soul goddess sauntered her way onto the stage with a voice as timeless as the song.

Energetic numbers such as “It’s Love” encouraged fans to get off their feet whereas deeper album cuts like “Show Me” set a chill and intimate vibe.

Scott took a detour from her first album for the conclusion of her show by performing songs from other bodies of work beginning with “Hate on Me” from the 2007 album “The Real Thing,” before concluding with her 2004 hit “Golden,” a timeless classic from her sophomore effort, “Beautifully Human.”

Two decades into her career with no signs of slowing down, the legend of Jill Scott continues to evolve and transcend barriers.

Fortunately for fans at The Fillmore, they had the best seat in the house to take place in history.

About Marquis Taylor

Marquis Taylor is a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He welcomes reader responses at mtaylor@spokesman-recorder.com.

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