Questlove DJed a private party at the Dakota Jazz Club late Friday. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
Like Prince, Questlove is a tireless workaholic.
The drummer/bandleader for the Roots is in the Twin Cities for Sunday night’s live broadcast of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” So why not pick up a few DJ gigs while he’s in town? He booked two private parties and a public session late on Friday, starting at midnight, at the Dakota Jazz Club.
Questlove, a proud Philadelphian, has spun Prince music at First Avenue several times but this was his first gig at the much smaller and more intimate Dakota, where admission carried the Super Bowl price of $175.
More than 150 fans witnessed Questlove explore his deep Purple catalog. He kept the dance floor hopping with familiar and unfamiliar tunes. He’s enough of a historian and geek – he calls himself one of the world’s biggest Prince fans – to try to educate and surprise the faithful with tunes like “Bob George” and “Wouldn’t You Love to Love Me.”
Using two turntables and a laptop, the DJ favored remixes of better known numbers including “DMSR,” “Housequake” and a sped up “Controversy.” He showed a tendency to lock into an instrumental riff and repeat it, which was particularly effective on “17 Days.” And he threw in Prince-penned songs including Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back” and the Purple One’s version of songs he wrote for the Time.
Questlove was scheduled to DJ until 2 a.m. He was still going strong at 3:01 a.m. when I left after “The Bird” – and the dancefloor was still jumping.