Friday, April 07, 2017

Miss Sharon Jones - documentary

Sharon Jones, who sadly passed away in November of last year, was the dynamic, soulful singer for the Dap Kings. The band embodied 60's and 70's soul and funk and helped to lead the revival that includes groups like Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears and, to some extent, Vintage Trouble. Sharon's records are always strong with her incredible vocals up front and a funky band behind her.

This documentary focuses on her fight with pancreatic cancer, but also goes through a history of the combo and the recording studio/record label that shares their name. They use an 8-track analog tape machine to give the songs the authentic sound and vibe and the band all knows that they are there to create the sound - not to show off, but to work together.

There's a great scene of Sharon, while she is going through chemotherapy, going to church and giving an incredible performance - singing and dancing - proving that singing is her best medicine, as she had trouble climbing a short flight of stairs into the church just moments before. At a band rehearsal, the group and the manager tries to start planning events and she's not sure whether she'll be strong enough. But she finishes her chemo, gets some fantastic TV exposure and rallies to go onto a successful comeback tour.

Sadly, since the release of this 2015 documentary, Sharon did succumb to cancer. This is an inspiring film, though, of an amazing talent.