Stockholm Jazz Fest 2009
The Stockholm Jazz Fest was always more for the general public than the purists. In accordance with that tradition the last day focused on soul. British youngster Joss Stone offered a competent, if not terribly original, update of Aretha Franklin-style '60s soul. Chosen to close the festival was none other than American funk/soul individualist Erykah Badu. It turned out to be a great choice. Badu and her band integrate hi-tech gear with live instruments in a uniquely organic way. The result is a filthy funk that, despite the obvious influence of someone like Sly Stone, actually sounds modern. As a singer, Badu is a lot more to the point than some of her ever-wailing colleagues. Her nasal voice seems able to cut through anything. With the circus-like act of SMV still fresh in memory, there was indeed something very uplifting about experiencing Badu. Man, a groove can still mean something!