As I mentioned in my review of the recent Eye Records sets of shows from Prince's run at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, a number of other releases are starting to make their way out of the woodwork. The good thing for fans is these releases are not only all completely free, but sourced from different recordings and, so far, proving to be of better quality than the Eye set.
One such release comes to us from Akashic Records and their Dakota II disc, a recording of the late show from January 16th, 2013. This was the first night of shows at The Dakota, billed as 'Soundcheck', and they focused on instrumental versions of some of Prince's jazzier material, as well as extended jams and covers.
This night was also advertised as a new drummer audition and Ronald Bruner Jr. gets even more opportunity to shine in this show than he did the earlier one from this night. RBJ is highlighted numerous times during the opening jam on "Xpectation", which also features some tasty guitar work from Prince. "Muse 2 The Pharoah" focuses more on the second half of the song and is one of the funkier grooves of the set. "Stratus" gives Prince a chance to take center-stage on guitar before each band member gets to take their time soloing.
After Prince psyches out the audience with the opening guitar lines of "When You Were Mine", the band goes into a long instrumental jam that makes prominent use of the horn section. After a brief instrumental take on Prince's "Satisfied", the night comes to a close with the only song to feature any type of vocal work by Prince, a cover of James Brown's "I Don't Want Nobody To Give me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself)". Prince basically sings a few lines off mic, but it is as close to vocals as he gets all night. A remix of Andy Allo's "People Pleaser" is then played over the P.A. with some of the horn section adding to it, but the show is for all intents and purposes over after the James Brown cover.
Again, a major thanks to the taper and Akashic Records for making this recording available for free. The Eye Records version of this show is certainly more than enjoyable, but the Akashic version is superior in sound quality and worth tracking down.