Aidin Vaziri | Having pushed back the release date of his new album several times in the past year, Raphael Saadiq had to promise us that “Stone Rollin’ ” would actually come out this week before we agreed to sit down with him. “It really is,” he insisted more than once backstage before his sold-out concert last month at the Regency Center. It’s well worth the wait, too. With barn-burners such as “Radio” and the meditative “The Answer,” it’s the strongest solo release yet by the Oakland native and former member of the retro soul groups Tony! Toni! Tone! and Lucy Pearl. Saadiq talked about the inspiration behind the album and jamming with Mick Jagger at the Grammys.
Q: How did you get the call to play with Mick Jagger at the Grammys?
A: He just called me and said, “Hey, it’s Mick.” He’s a regular cat. He’s the type of dude who can walk into any bar. The Stones are like that. They’re just a blues band.
Q: Are you as upset as everyone else that he didn’t acknowledge you onstage?
A: He did! He brought me up there. He said my name a few times. He calls me Ray. He was screaming my name the whole time. Sometimes small things can kill a person who wants to be big. That was a very small thing.