Today, Spotify released a half-hour session with D’Angelo that was recorded in front of a very lucky live audience. Some of my favorite cuts from last year's astounding Black Messiah are performed here. A gorgeous, 12-minute rendition of “Betray My Heart” (featuring elements of Voodoo’s “Spanish Joint”) opens the session. Similarly woozy, drawn-out interpretations of Messiah highlights “Really Love” and “The Door” follow. D closes out the brief session with his famous cover of Prince’s “She’s Always In My Hair”.
The crowd is ecstatic, and it's no mystery why. Preternaturally gifted musicians comprise D’Angelo’s backing band, the Vanguard. Their musical arrangements, reticular and seductive, are natural playmates to D’Angelo’s molten-gold voice. I daresay the renditions featured on Spotify Sessions are superior to D’Angelo’s studio work.