I had to pen a few words today about D’Angelo and The Vanguard’s performance last night on SNL. I’m illustrating the few points I want to make with the ethereal “Really Love”. “Charade” which was performed later is just as poignant and thought provoking but for me “Really Love” has been on a serious repeat, because as some know I’m a sucker for pretty chords, strings and interesting chord progressions.

But today I’m not really going inside the song or the performance per se, I’m just feeling that if some folks or forces who want to deem music that doesn’t even occupy the same universe as what D’Angelo and The Vanguard are putting down here as Soul you are very nicely being put on notice. That has to stop, like right now because what I see and hear in the above clip is pure unadulterated Soul nothing fake or manufactured about it and if you thought that folks were put on notice when Black Messiah dropped, they really should be running for the hills as this music and this musical outfit makes its way around the world to bring this music to the people, because truth be told you can’t hang.

Oh I know, opinions and everything ain’t for everybody, yeah, yeah, yeah “We are the world, we are the children” but, the cow goes moo, and the horse goes neigh and Soul Music cannot be devoid of Soul. I’m not saying you have to look a certain way, but you damn sure better sound like your life experiences are in every note and line, if not they are only words on a paper.

I don’t believe there are any accidents the name of the group is D’Angelo and The Vanguard. Vanguard as in: the leading part of an advancing military formation. It has a number of functions, including seeking out the enemy and securing ground in advance of the main force. Playing music from a project entitled Black Messiah. I guess as many have been waiting, the time has come to start slaying suckers musically track to track, project to project, group to group, coast to coast. Perhaps as was the case in 1995 D’Angelo is leading the charge for an entire wave of musicians to follow the muse and not the money.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.