Sharon Jones (Dap-Kings)/Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Dap-Kings): Sharon Jones (vocals); Tommy "TNT" Brenneck (guitar, piano); Binky Griptite (guitar, background vocals); Neal Sugarman (tenor saxophone); El Michels (baritone saxophone); Dave Guy (trumpet); Bosco Mann (piano, vibraphone, bass guitar, tambourine); Homer Steinweiss (drums); Boogaloo Velez (congas). Additional personnel: Lee Fields (strings). NATURALLY was released in 2008, but from Sharon Jones's deeply soulful vocal performances to the Dap-Kings lean, air-tight funk, this album (the follow-up to Jones's equally excellent debut, DAP DIPPIN') sounds vintage enough to come straight from the glory days. On cuts such as "My Man Is a Mean Man" and "Your Thing Is a Drag," Jones & Co. churn out snappy, get-on-up riffs and rhythms that recall the JB's in their heyday. But NATURALLY also points elsewhere in the history of R&B, with the smooth soul-pop of "How Long Do I Have to Wait for You?" and the smoldering ballad "You're Gonna Get It" leaning more toward the sounds of Motown and Stax/Volt (to say nothing of her soul-fried version of "This Land is Your Land"). Jones is a singer of emotional substance with the pipes to match, and her band never misses a lick. Old-school fans of funk-fueled soul should rejoice: the music is alive and well.
- Format: Vinyl