Gladys Knight – Before Me – Verve

by | Jun 3, 2006 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Gladys Knight – Before Me – Verve VERF01471-2,  [We were provided two different upcoming release dates for this: June 6 & Oct. 10, so take your pick!]  53:00  ****:   

A virgin to Verve Records no more!  Gladys Knight knocks one off the shelves with her Verve debut, Before Me.  Singing some of jazz music’s classic songs of the 20th century, Knight’s silky voice convening with an excellent backing of musicians, is a PERFECT addition to my CD collection.

Knight lost the raspy voice we’re all used to and fine tuned  it to cantillate such songs as George Gershwin’s Someone To Watch Over Me, and Duke Ellington’s I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good.  My favorite pick of the litter is Stormy Weather.  A song intended for Cab Calloway, mastered by Duke Ellington, and conquered here by Gladys Knight.

Some of the excellent partners in crime on this album are: Joe Sample, piano; John Clayton, bass; Anthony Wilson, guitar; Tamir Hendelman, Fender Rhodes; Russell Malone, guitar; Chrsoph Luty, bass; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Joe Porcaro, percussion; The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra; as well as guest spots by Chris Botti, Steve Wilson, Dave Mann, George Flynn, David Finck, Billy Childs and more!

Songs are: Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, The Man I Love, Good Morning Heartache, Since I Fell For You, God Bless the Child, This Bitter Earth, I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good), Someone to Watch Over Me, But Not for Me, I’ll Be Seeing You, Stormy Weather, Come Sunday.

— Paul Pelon IV

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