I’m late again. Who can concentrate on anything with the insanity going on around us right now? Plus, my wife and I got a new cookbook today because we’re tired of making the same meals repeatedly, so we tried something new tonight and had dinner way too late. Then I got in to SNL. Whatever. My blog. No deadlines.
Tonight’s track is one of my favorites from Prince’s final album, December 2015’s Hitnrun Phase Two. Every time I listen to late-career Prince I marvel at the music this cat was still making well in to his fifties. “Look At Me, Look At U” is a silky smooth R&B track with some improvisational jazz solos mixed in. It’s the kind of musicianship Prince’s band displayed on 2001’s The Rainbow Children without the heavy religious messages. Every time I hear this song I want to give Prince props for his work on the keys, but at look at the credits tells me Mr. Xavier Taplin deserves the credit here. I also have to shout out the late, great John Blackwell on drums at every opportunity.
This feels ominous, but for the second consecutive day princevault.com has a sad tale to tell about the Daily Prince song. Lyrics for the track “Look At Me, Look At U” were found on a music stand in Studio A at Paisley Park following Prince’s death. Not sure what that means, but it reminds me of a story. When my wife and I toured Paisley Park in early-2019 they played us some unreleased music in Studio A that was supposedly part of a project he was doing for Blue Note Records. I’ve often wondered what a collaboration between the greatest artist of our lifetimes and the finest jazz label ever created would’ve sounded like. It makes me think maybe a re-working of a song like “Look At Me, Look At U” is the kind of music he might have been making for that project. I hear Jose James’s amazing work for Blue Note and think Prince could’ve been doing the same. Sadly, we’ll likely never know.
As always, I ride for late-career Prince. People who tired of him in the 90’s with the name change and the constant fighting with his record label missed out on a lot of great work, and his last album Hitnrun Phase Two is proof that it would have continued. I urge you to that album out and chill on this late Saturday night (or Sunday) with “Look At Me, Look At U.”