sábado, 28 de febrero de 2009

Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant (1956)

This CD reissues a brilliant 1956 LP of the same title that served as the debuts of both Betty Carter and Ray Bryant as leaders, Bryant acting as accompanist to Carter as well as leading a trio with bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Philly Joe Jones. Later, Carter would move toward a more avant-garde approach. Here, while far from unconventional, Carter uses her unique gifts to make a set of familiar songs her own. Even at this stage in her career she was an unusually complete singer, using her wide range and nuanced diction effectively, whether for huskily intimate ballads or soaring, inventive scat. Carter’s transformative reinterpretations of six standards result in versions that some will be tempted to consider definitive. Her fluency is mirrored perfectly by Bryant, a pianist whose stylistic palette could comfortably span swing, funk, and bop, investing everything he touched with a special rhythmic spark. Moving into the spotlight on the trio tracks, Bryant and company play with engaging swing and finesse. There is also a very good flutist, possibly Jerome Richardson, on a couple of the tracks with Carter. The CD also includes additional tracks by the Bryant trio and four stunning performances by Carter with a big band arranged and led by Gigi Gryce, among them intensely swinging versions of Gryce's ‘Social Call’ and ‘Frenesi.’ I added a bonus track at the end, a 1952 duet with King Pleasure called ‘My Little Red Top.’ Betty Carter is one of my favourite jazz singers and this is one of her albums I like the most. I hope you enjoy it.

Jean DuShon: Feeling Good and other soul gems from the '60s

It is not well known, but Detroit native, Jean DuShon was the very first artist to record the legendary Ron Miller/Orlando Murden classic, ‘For Once in My Life’. Others have claimed to be the first, but it was DuShon who was invited to Miller's home to interpret the tune. So pleased with her ideas and dynamic rendition, he allowed her to record the song first, which came out in early 1966 to great acclaim, especially in her hometown of Detroit. Miss DuShon was signed by Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records, where she was produced by Phil Spector. Later, she contracted with Lenox Records, Columbia, ABC-Paramount and then Chess, where she released her firs album Make Way for Jean DuShon, in 1964. This record was met with critical acclaim leading to a second album in 1965, You Better Believe Me, with the Ramsey Lewis Trio. By the time she recorded her third album, Feeling Good, in 1966, she was famous. Miss DuShon has performed in hundreds of legendary nightclubs, theatres, concert halls and most of the great show palaces of Europe, South America and the United States. There is nothing that Jean SuShon hasn't mastered: blues, jazz, ballads, show tunes and pop. On all of them, she puts her uniquely distinguishable mark on the music. If someone deserves her work being reissued on CD, that is Ms. DuShon. I hope we can see that soon! .~ http://www.soul-patrol.com/, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
1. Feeling Good
2. How Long Can I Go On
3. For Once in My Life
4. Hitch Hike
5. As I Watch You Walk Away
6. Second Class Lover

miércoles, 25 de febrero de 2009

Hello everybody:

In case my other blog, http://supersoulsisters.blogspot.com/ finally gets shut down, I will post here all the music posted there. AND MUCH MORE.

Hopefully, that won't be necessary. But, just in case, I just wanted to warn you ...

The Fascinations: ...Out to Getcha! (1962-1968)

The Fascinations were a girl group with a dazzling family tree, a distinctive sound, and a hook-up with one of the great artist-producers of the ’60; yet, in one of the great mysteries of the soul music boom of the mid-decade, they never made it in America, but sold lots of records in England. The group's origins can be traced back to Martha Reeves, (later of the Vandellas), Shirley Walker Bernadine and Joanne Boswell. Before the girls could get a foot in the industry's door, Martha left over some disagreements with the others. The remaining Fascinations persevered, and by late 1962 they had been introduced to a man who would change their lives. Curtis Mayfield, a member of the Impressions, got the group signed to ABC-Paramount, where they released a trio of singles (written and/or produced by Mayfield) over the next year that failed to sell in significant numbers. The label dropped them, but Mayfield did not forget the group and in 1966, when he started his own Mayfield label, he signed the Fascinations, eventually releasing five singles by the group. Of those, three made the US R&B charts, with the second of those, ‘Girls Are Out To Get You', rising to number 13. When the Fascinations’ contract came up for renewal in 1969, Mayfield did not sign them again, and the Fascinations disbanded. In 1971, they reunited for a tour of England but split permanently after that tour. The Fascinations weren't much more than an odd footnote in the history of Detroit-based R&B, in terms of their sales impact and their early history as Martha Reeves' first group. They never recorded steadily or successfully enough to justify an album release during the time they were together, but they turned in some delightful and intensely passionate soul performances. I have compiled here most of the singles they recorded between 1962 and 1968 (14 tracks); all of them, but the first two, appeared in the much sought after Sequel compilation ‘…Out to Getcha!’, in 1997. I hope you enjoy it.