Thursday, January 22, 2009

CTI memorabilia - Esther Philips & Joe Beck review in DownBeat

CTI memorabilia: the review, by Herb Nolan, of Esther Phillips/Joe Beck's "What A Diff'rence A Day Makes" (Kudu 23), printed in the December 18, 1975 issue of Down Beat magazine, on page 28.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
"This is the first recent Esther Phillips recording that has successfully matched her extremely individual and vital vocals with a musical setting as forceful as she is... The result is muscular and vibrant...
In this case, the "more" is a contemporary concept mixing blues, soul and disco. The arrangements are intrincate and for the most part totally sympathetic. At times Ms. Phillips' voice is used like another instrument, or is pitted against Sanborn's brittle and screaming alto. Yet her uniquely individual sound is always complimented with dynamic and powerful orchestrations. Much of the credit must go to Beck who did all the arranging for What A Diff'rence. He obviously understands the depths of Ms. Phillips' talent and how to effectively demonstrate it.
The material is varied, ranging from the funky and sexual to the rocking. The first three tracks are anchored to a thundering disco beat with Diff'rence taken at a fervent tempo. Some may not like this version, but Esther sounds comfortable... One more thing: Esther Phillips has the most sensual voice you'll ever vibrate to." - Nolan

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