INTERVIEW: Emily Chambers – Evanescent

Music will never be perfected. It continues to morph, mixing older and used styles with new ideas. Each artist contributes elements that can never be reproduced but can always be emulated.

Emily Chambers

In walks Emily Chambers, an up and coming singer/songwriter from Vancouver. She has perfected her art, successfully combining old school jazz and R’n’B stylings with modern vibes. She is a cross between Dusty Springfield and Mary J. Blige with the likes of Aretha Franklin and John Legend.

Graciously, Chambers let me pick her brain on her inspirations, her musical beginnings, and who she would love to be…besides herself of course.


Who are your biggest influences, both personally and musically?

Musically, I was introduced to the likes of Donny Hathaway, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder when I was around eight years old. These artists were introduced to me by this fantastic vocal teacher that I had for a decade, from the time I was eight to 18. She opened up my world to Motown, soul, and jazz with artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. I take a lot of inspiration from the oldies. I was also obsessed with Christina Aguilera when I was a teenager. Of course, I love Adele and Alicia Keys. Moving into my formative years, I was obsessed with the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This is one of my all-time favorite albums.

I actually don’t have a musical family at all, which is hilarious. Apparently, I had a great aunt that was a famous opera singer, who I never met. That’s where everyone thinks all this came from. So as far as personal influences, my sister is a huge inspiration to me. She’s just such a go-getter, incredibly hard-working, incredibly creative, incredibly smart, and funny. I just want to be like her forever. She’s one of my best friends. I also look to my parents. My mom is such a strong woman. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 17 years ago, and that’s been a pretty life-changing journey for our whole family, but especially for my mom and my dad. She’s just such a champion about it all. I’m fortunate to have an outstanding community of family and friends. Since I moved to Nashville, I’ve made some of my best friends and everyone here is a hustler. I’m constantly in a sea of inspiration that’s making me work my butt off, which is awesome.

You plan on releasing new music this year. What can we expect?

My plans for 2019 is to drop singles pretty much. I’ll be releasing another single in July. And then after that, probably in September…

I have been writing like a madman, so I’m excited about the new direction that we’re moving in. I’m pumped to release my next single.

What can we expect from your new singles musically? Will they be along the lines of your single “Left Alabama” and your EP Magnolia?

Emily Chambers“Left Alabama” is an excellent gateway between the classicsoul song moving into the neo-soul direction. I love the mix and balance between produced sounds, produced drums, 808s, and elements mixed in with live drums, acoustic piano, electric guitar, and horns. I love the balance between that kind of production so you can expect more of that…I still have a heavy jazz influence in my new material.

I’m gearing towards higher energy material that’s more fun, more geared towards getting a younger fan base, and getting into the accessible circuit. The new music will really reflect where I’m at right now at this point in my life.

What does a day in the studio look like for Emily Chambers? What do you need for your creativity to thrive?

I’m all about the ambiance. I like low lighting. My producer that I worked with on “Real Talk” and “Left Alabama” and that I’m continuing to work with, he’s all about that too. You know, the incense, the sort of high vibe sprays, and setting everything right because you’re in there for 10 hours.

It’s a lot of talking about how my producer and I want things to feel musically and what we are saying with the lyrics. We go through a million different sounds, and I’m singing parts to him. It’s super fun. It’s my favorite place to be, other than the stage, especially when we’re tracking vocals.

Bringing ideas to life is just pretty magical. It’s productive, and I feel like I’m in my element, where I’m supposed to be.

How did your journey in music begin?

When I was eight years old, my mom asked me if I wanted to take singing lessons. We lived across the street from an amazing Canadian jazz singer named Joani Taylor. I trained with her once a week for a decade. I sang my first performance in grade five in front of the talent show and then kind of went from there. Through high school, I won the Idol competition and then started singing all of our national anthems. That led to singing for a local hockey team and then singing for our CFL football league.

My sister was the one that suggested I go to Berklee College of Music…I applied, and I got into Berklee on a vocal scholarship. I didn’t apply anywhere else. I did a year at Berklee and was so fortunate to have that year given to me by my parents. And then they were like, “Okay. That’s your entire education fund in one year, so you’re on your own.”

I made the decision that I didn’t want to take out a hundred thousand dollars worth of student loans to get a performance degree. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that, but it just wasn’t the route for me. So I decided to leave after that year, and I went to Europe with some, buddies for what was supposed to be three weeks. I ended up singing at an open mic, and some older man said, “You need to come out and busk with me on the street.”

I ended up meeting up with him with my buddies. We played guitar, and we learned a couple of songs. I ended up staying in Europe for four and a half months, busking the south of France and Italy, and into Greece. For me, it was like, “Okay, you tell the world you’re not going to make music anymore and it kind of gets thrown right back in your face.” Europe was the first time where people (I was 19) would just stop on the street and be like, “You’re amazing.”

Emily ChambersThen I came back to Vancouver, had some career ups and downs, and started the band, Champaign Republic. We were a five-piece soul, pop, funk group, and we ran together for six years. We signed with a management company, and we got a lost in trying to write something for radio. I just lost all inspiration for the project. I think a lot of us did, and so, right as our band agreement ended and our PR plan was going to roll out, I left. I went solo in 2015, released “Magnolia” in 2016, and then I took off in my van to tour the U.S. Now, I am in Nashville.

Now for a little light conversation…

What is your favorite song to cover?

Well, this changes. Right now I love covering “Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington, Jr. I also love covering Bruno Mars.

If you could collaborate with anybody musically, dead or alive, who would you choose?

Oh, god. Do I just get one? I would love to collaborate with Quincy Jones, but I could name 50 more. That’s the first one that came to my mind.

If you could be anybody for a day, who would it be?

Oprah. I’d love to wake up to this beautiful estate, with a lovely breakfast made for my dogs and me, and then I’d got out and have a super soul conversation with some spiritual leader in the world. I love Oprah.


On April 26th Chambers released her latest single, “Real Talk.” A hard-hitting soul power ballad with elements of classic rock and roll, jazz, and candid honesty.

Chambers artistry is bound for impact. Whether she goes on to sell out Radio City or win a few Grammys, she has made her mark on music using her straightforward lyrics to her evanescent vocals. Keep an eye open, she’s on her way.


Download “Real Talk” today on iTunes and stream on Spotify.

Emily Chambers


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ALBUM REVIEW: Tina Turner, Tina Turns Country on!

There is barely any debate among music critics and listeners wheather or not Tina Turner is an impeccable artist. She has a style that cannot be replicated and a legacy that is sealed into society’s consciousness. Find me one person that doesn’t know when to shake their head during “Proud Mary” and I’d be shocked.

IMG_2377There is more music that often goes unnoticed from her career between being a solo superstar with the album Private Dancer and her tenure with the Ike and Tina Turner Review. Between the years of 1974, a year before she divorced Ike, and 1984, the year “What’s Love Got To Do With It” went number one, Tina recorded multiple albums to little success.

The first of these albums was Tina Turns The Country On! This album finds Tina at her first solo experiment. When looking at music history and the history of Tina’s style, the choice to release an album of country and western covers does not seem like the obvious next step in her career. Yet this album speaks volumes of where Tina was at in 1974 and also widens her breadth as a vocal artist.

This album comes right at the end of Ike and Tina Turner’s marriage. Their popularity had waned in the 70’s due to Ike’s frequent drug use, which resulted in missed and postponed shows. Tina was beginning to build her nerve through inspiration she had found through Buddhism which was the budding of her independence.

That’s the diamond in the rough when it comes to Tina’s first solo album: independence. For the first time, she was given the most freedom on how she was going to conduct herself as a muscian.

Tina Turns The Country On! is completely…country. Tina knows country because she was brought up in Tennessee, but I don’t think anybody was expecting her to sing it. Each song is a cover of a country hit with a new arrangement and that arrangement was…country.

Tina Turner, the queen of rock and roll R&B, now had twang.

IMG_2378I could see Tina doing a twist off of Ray Charles successes from his early 1960’s country themed albums, but I didn’t expect a performance I would have readily seen on The Wilburn Brothers Show or The Johnny Cash Show. I was expecting a blended mix of early R&B and country, but instead she fit in perfectly right next to Loretta Lynn.

There are three levels of Tina within the album and with each level she becomes more…Tina. I call the first level “Mid-Tina.” This level finds Tina singing with the roughness we have all grown to love, but mixed with smooth twang. We find this on the songs “Bayou Song, “If You Love Me Let Me Know,” and “Don’t Talk Now.”

Next we venture into “Tina Turned Up.” This is the Tina we generally find in her earlier recordings with Ike Turner. These elements are found in songs such as Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” and Hank Snow’s “I’m Moving On.”

Lastly, we have “Tina Turned Down.” In this level, Tina demonstrates her chops for delivering straightforward and easy masterpieces. This level contains all my favorite songs from this album. First she sings a vulnerable and rousing rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night.” Her voice is as smooth and liquid as melted butter. Her performance of this song finds her vocals in their most purest form. It is like they come from a child.

Tina-Album-Tina-Turns-The-Country-On-Promo-02Then there is the hopeful Dolly Parton cover “There’ll Always Be Music.” I could easily see a choir erupting behind Tina at any moment during this recording. Her genuine love of unadulterated music is on complete view. She then closes out the album with “The Love That Light’s Our Way.” This song eludes to the concrete truth that love will always prevail and lead the way, a sentiment that was muddled for Tina at this time. Her vocals in this song will convince anybody, that truth and love always prevails, something she still believed deep down.

This album begins to encapsulate the independent artistry of Tina Turner. It shows that she was not only a musical interpreter that crossed genres, but one that can reach the furthest of human emotions in the same fell swoop. She takes country music, flips it on its head, reconstructs it, and sings it her way, but she was still under a jail cell.

Her later solo efforts were to be completely independent of Ike Turner in all regards. This album shows that all you need sometimes is to let someone shake their own tail-feather and to never restrict someone to be a private dancer. This artistry within Tina was nearly untapped and it was time for the world to hear it.

It was time for Tina to be Tina.

CONCERT: Melinda Doolittle, She’s a Christmas Woman

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of seeing Melinda Doolittle in concert. I have been waiting years to see her in person. Many of you will remember her from season 6 of American Idol where she was the third runner-up.

Melinda DoolittleNeedless to say, the minute she was voted off, I turned off the TV and went to my room. I have never watched an episode of American Idol since.

So when they announced Melinda was coming to OKC to do her Christmas show I was elated. I have all her recordings and I have been keeping up with her since 2009. I bought tickets the moment they went on sale.

Anybody that has heard Melinda knows how immaculate her voice is. Her voice is as strong as a brick, yet as emotional as your mother on graduation day. She possess the soul of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Diana Ross combined, topped off with a sprinkle of Melinda’s own sass.

(And of course I’m super proud to call her my fellow Okie. She is a graduate of Tulsa Union High School.)

There wasn’t a single Christmas carol or tune left out of the entire show. She took the audience on a journey from winter wonderlands to the manger of Jesus. Her powerful journey took us through “Winter Wonderland,” “All I Want for Christmas,” “Mary Did You Know?,” amongst many others. I could write over every song she sang, but that would make this post nearly a novel.

Here are my favorites and greatest takeaways from her flawless show:

  1. IMG_1586“God Bless Us Everyone.” This was one of her beginning numbers. This is a song
    she cowrote. She sings of love, joy, and peace for all families and how Christmas is a time where everything is brand new. This song really focused on the family and the renewing spirit of the season. It’s just beautiful.
  2. “Home” from the Wiz. Melinda sings this song like it is meant to be sung, an emotional ballad longing for the love that only home can provide. At the beginning of the song, she treats the lyrics with childlike vulnerability and by the end of the song, she has gained the confidence on where home really is. Her rendition is sure to give you chills. This was one of her first performances on American Idol.
  3. “O Holy Night.” Melinda proclaimed this is one of her favorite Christmas tunes of all time. She took a seat next to the piano and sang this song completely stripped down. Her voice painted the nativity and took you there through both the soft touch of a baby with the strength of the King of Kings.
  4. “Mary Did You Know?” She opened with this song right after intermission. Everybody was quickly right back in the show. She gave this song nearly the same treatment she gave “O Holy Night,” yet this time she was full of confidence and undeniable faith. The moments where she had to lean back from the mic due to the power of her voice, nearly made the walls shake. This song must be recorded.
  5. “All I Want for Christmas”/ Diana Ross smash-up. Melinda told the audience that IMG_1585while everyone wanted to be Mariah Carey during school, she was over in the corner listening to Motown and Diana Ross. She opened this song with her best Mariah Carey impression, which was nearly spot on, and ended the song with lyrics from various Ross and Supremes songs (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Stop, In The Name of Love”). This was pure entertainment and fun.
  6. “I Am Woman” She told us after she had seen Rod Stewart sing “Love Train” at the Rockefeller tree lighting while proclaiming it’s a Christmas train, that she felt she could now sing any song and make it Christmas. Talk about attitude and a full soul, rock, r&b performance! She gave her all in telling everybody that she will give them the shivering fits while she gets grits in the pan. She walked around the whole auditorium as she sang this one. A true performer willing to entertain her audience.
  7. “Drummer Boy.” Now we all know this as a traditional Christmas song, but let’s be honest, what does it mean? Even Melinda can’t figure it out. Well, she decided to do a special version by the reknowned artists Justin Bieber and Busta Rymes. All I have to say is yes, Melinda can rap with the best of them.

These are just a few of the songs that stuck out to me. The show was nearly two hours long with a 20 minute intermission. I didn’t even get a chance to mention her golden gown and glitzy jumper.

One of the greatest aspects of this show was Melinda being Melinda. She shared stories and accolades from her ventures through American Idol to personal stories with her family and friends. Melinda was very expressive of her faith in God and how this is the season to celebrate Jesus’ birth (something we need to see more of). She held nothing back and her pure personality shined through. Her show isn’t staged, it’s lived.

To my delight after the show, Melinda came out to sign autographs and meet her fans. I came with her first album insert in tow ready to prove I’ve been a fan since the beginning. As I walked up to the table for her to sign my items she looks at me and asked “Aren’t you the one that tweets me?”

I almost thought I was about to get security called on me.

IMG_1579 (1)We then proceeded to talk about our tweets and we declared ourselves BFFs. She signed everything for my mom and I and continually thanked us for our support of her throughout her career. My mom and I took a picture with Melinda, then she said get one of her and “her Gabe.” It was a priceless moment for me. She is in my top 5 singers and to be recognized by her meant the world.

I can not clearly verbalize my thoughts on Melinda’s concert. My words do not do the concert complete justice. This was the only concert I have ever attended that I wish had a back button, so I could hear certain songs over again.

What is different about Melinda now compared to her American Idol days is that now Melinda can be completely herself. There was no pomp and circumstance. It was just her and her band. That was all that was needed. The band was extraordinary, and Melinda’s vocals were brilliant. She is one of the greatest vocalist of the 21st century.

If you ever have the chance you MUST see her live. It will renew your faith in music and remind you that there are still real performers out there. Melinda is atop the list.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go tweet my new bestie.

 

ALBUM REVIEW: Tina Turner, Private Dancer

This may be a vinyl collector sin, but I generally don’t look through the dollar record bins. I often get tired of how unorganized they are and I figure there is a reason those records are there.

As I was walking by the dollar bin the other day I decided to give it a quick flip through. I found a few albums I thought were worth a dollar. I was not expecting much, but instead of buying a few scratched records, I found my new obsession.

Tina Turner.

Tina_Turner_Private_Dancer_original_vinyl_cover_artNow I already had a few Ike and Tina Turner albums. I think every lover of soul and rock is beholden to “Proud Mary” and “Nutbush City Limits,” but I had never researched her career post Ike. I only knew a few songs. The album I picked up in that dusty dollar bin was Private Dancer. Many critics claim this album to be the comeback of the 1980’s. I was immediately hooked on not only this records hits, but every song on the album.

Here is my track by track breakdown of the album Private Dancer:

“I Might Have Been Queen:” This album starts out with a bang, showcasing Turner’s sultry, yet raspy vocals. It’s a song you find yourself quickly wanting to get up and shake your hair to. This song is reflective of what Turner’s life was previously. From what I’ve read, this song was given to Turner to review with that exact pretense in mind. She even shed a tear reading the lyrics. Although those previous years had been rough, she was ready to move forward. She declares she is a soul survivor, and that it is time to start where she is now.

1366917244_tina-turner-560“What’s Love Got To Do With It:” Here we have the smash number one hit that propelled Turner’s name back into everyone’s household. It’s a soft rock tune, but with a distinct message. This song could have easily been forgotten, but Turner’s vocals add depth that I am still trying to understand. This song clearly shows her then disdain for love and what she had experienced. Her vocals show a vulnerable and struggling woman, yet she sings the song with confidence in who she is. A perfect companion to her life and sequel to “I Might Have Been Queen,” this song clearly paid off in topping the charts and garnering a few Grammys.

“Show Some Respect:” This is another song you just can’t help but move to. It’s a jammer and Turner declares respect for a love she has to protect.

“I Can’t Stand The Rain:” This is the ballad of the whole album by an 80’s definition. Her vocals sound effortless on this track. They are both a gravel road and a velvet lining. She sings of love lost with a slight yearning for it to return, yet her vocals show a strength that she would also be just fine without it.

“Better Be Good To Me:” This song is a plain statement of how any man was to treat Turner after what she had been through. Some of her “calmest” vocals, without her typical growls, are heard on this piece. She wanted to make sure she got her emotions across, while proving she doesn’t always have to be a vocal acrobat to make her point. She was ready to start from where she was. She didn’t want to forget the past, but she is clearly done dwelling.

“Let’s Stay Together:” We can’t expect Tina to leave all the soul behind. Although she is known as a rocker, Tina has never denied the soul that resonates in her voice.  Her vocals bring something completely new to the song. I think she is both wanting to stay together with her man, but she gives off the persona of a very independent woman. He better be good to Turner if he wants to stay together.

“1984:” This is a quick ode to David Bowie who helped Tina secure a contract with Capitol Records. This is another great dance tune that you can see her immaculate legs moving to.

“Steel Claw:” This song is clearly where Turner’s vocals return to their roots. It is easily the most rock orientated song on the album. Her stylings channel those of “Proud Mary” and “River Deep, Mountain High.” Her vocals are suburb on this track, reminding all listeners that although it was time for a new Tina, it was still the same Tina.

“Private Dancer:” On the surface this song seems to be about a stripper or a call girl, but for Turner it is much more. The subdue tone of the song sets the stage for one of Turner’s most memorable performances. She takes us inside the empty eyes she had lived with for many years, both as a performer and partner. For the longest time Turner was used for her vocal agility and magnetic stage performance, while she was also being used in relationships for pure business benefits. She shows how it is absurd to be a performer if you can’t be true to yourself. She loves her audience, but she is more. It was time for Turner to take Tina by the reigns and declare her own prerogative.

Any old music for Turner would not do anymore.

013Since listening to this album, I have scoured every record store in the vicinity for anything by Turner. I want to know where she has been and I want to know where she went and is still going. Her career is a metamorphosis. She transformed from a young lady with every move being directed to an independent songstress that didn’t need supervision. She was the same Tina Turner everyone knew with this album, yet in name only, for now she was a new creature.

It doesn’t surprise anyone how powerful Turner’s vocals are. In this album, she proves again and again that a singer’s vocal interpretation can make the slightest and most extreme difference in the finesse of a song. Every emotion was expressed to its furthest extreme in this album. The genius of this record is that it can easily be listened to during a relaxing jam session, or it can be heard as a thoroughly articulated journey.

Nevertheless, Turner clearly made a comeback with this album. She was performing in Vegas without a record deal prior to this release. Some might have said she was washed up, while others may have thought she had hit her plateau, but she proved that not all of her struggles were in vain.

With this album, she cemented herself as a legend, firmly replacing the “Ike and” before her name with a “The.”

ALBUM REVIEW: Peabo Bryson, Crosswinds

The soundtrack of my childhood is the great R&B legends. My mom’s car was consistently filled with cassette tapes of Lionel Richie, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, and Diana Ross. I became in tune with my soul early in life.

Peabo Bryson CrosswindsAwhile back, I bought Peabo Bryson’s, Crosswinds. This album is his Capitol records debut from 1978. I don’t even remember where I picked it up or how long I have had it. Since I am now going through my entire collection to see what I haven’t listened to, I decided to give this album the time it deserves.

Yet, that time is still being determined considering that it has been on the turntable the week, through the weekend, and is still playing at the time of this writing.

The album starts out with the title track “Crosswinds,” which I easily get caught up in. This tune set up the album perfectly on what is to come. It contains the smooth stylings and rhythmic patterns of any great R&B song, with a dash of funk, and a pinch of disco.

Peabo Bryson CrosswindsNext comes “I’m So Into You.” A pure ballad that could easily fit into the Copa in 1956 as well as Studio 54 in 1978. Then comes a pure disco track that had me strapping on my roller skates, “Smile.” Needless to say, my leisure suit was at the cleaners.

The B side of the album keeps the same consistent feel throughout. I especially enjoyed “Spread Your Wings.” This is an up beat song about achieving your dreams, but sang as if whispered into your little darling’s ear. Bryson follows that with “Don’t Touch Me.” This song reminds me of Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait a While,” waiting for that right time where it will mean the most.

He concludes this album with “Love is Watching You.” The only “break-up” song of the album if you will, yet it still doesn’t totally encompass the end. It is a R&B power ballad stating how love can walk in and out of “her” life, but that heaven is watching her, eluding to future blessings.

What I find extraordinary about this album is that Bryson, at a mere age of 27, wrote and composed all the songs on this album. Each song is very different, yet they distinctly stay in sync. The lyrics barely repeat themselves and you find a new favorite with each listen. Bryson’s smooth tenor vocals are relative to Marvin Gaye’s. His writings have the passion Lionel Richie’s, and his vocals have the spunk of Smokey Robinson.

Peabo Bryson CrosswindsNo wonder all the articles I read over Bryson have named him the “Kind of Balladers,” with countless praises to his writing ability. This album is his major debut. He was entrusted with a lot for a young man, yet delivered ten fold.

I don’t understand how this album has been hiding so well in my collection. I sure am glad I finally took a peek.

ALBUM REVIEW: Marvin Gaye, Live

We all live our lives in stages. We often don’t realize we are going through these different seasons of life until they end.

That is how I think of Marvin Gaye. He has musical stages that directly coincide with his own trials and triumphs in his life. His musical success starts with songs such as “Stubborn Kind of Fellow” and “Pride and Joy,” but before these, there was “”Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide.”

Never heard of it? Most people haven’t.

Gaye’s early career did not yield success. At this time he had moved out of an abusive home, dropped out of school and had served a stint in the army, a lackluster life at best. Then came the hits. Then came the duet albums with the likes of Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston. Life was good.

Next, came What’s Goin On and Let’s Get it On after the death of Terrell. This took a significant toll on Gaye emotionally, but it didn’t stop Gaye’s success. Listen closely though, the mourning and emotion are in the lyrics and vocals.

By the time 1977 rolled around Gaye had become a household name. He released the live album Live at The London Palladium, adding his name to a list of endless superstars who had performed there. I feel it perfectly sums up his musical career and life perfectly at this stage.

This album finds a confident Gaye. That wasn’t typical of his character. One can read countless accounts of how he was really a shy individual, but it is hardly an argument with this album. He talked very humbly, but he wasn’t overly confident. He didn’t act shy what so ever.

The pre-“Sexual Healing” Marvin is in full force on this album. He jokingly sings “Let’s Get it On” with a rather bashful lady in the audience. He covers all his old 1960’s hits from “You’re a Wonderful One” to “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).”

Live is basically built upon three song melodies. The highlights of this album come in Melody Two and Melody Three. In Melody Two he mixes his hits with songs that mirror a “We Are the World” sentiment. He sings his beliefs in songs like “God is Love” and “Save the Children,” while offering his hit “What’s Going On.”

Melody Three is my favorite. This is where Marvin really starts to have fun. He performs many of his duet hits with Florence Lyle. Although these were not the originals, you can tell that Marvin is living in yesterday with every note. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is always a favorite, but to be honest, the whole melody is sensational.

I can’t say enough about Gaye. I have listened to his music for a few years now, yet I still can’t get my mind completely wrapped around his music. Reading articles about him show me the stages that he lived in. He is an entirely different man from “Stubborn’ Kind of Fellow” to “Let’s Get it On” to “Sexual Healing.” He’s barely even recognizable from cover to cover!

Marvin had just begun act 4 when he was shot by his father in 1984. What would act 5 and 6 looked like? One can only imagine the genius he would have produced. His death is one of the biggest tragedies to soul music and music as a whole.

ALBUM REVIEW: Ella Fitzgerald, Sings The Gershwin Songbook

I began thumbing through my records to figure out who I would like to write about. After a thorough examination, I decided to go with the First Lady of Song, Ms. Ella Fitzgerald.

There are quite a few eras in Fitzgerald’s career. She had her time with Chuck Webb until his passing in 1939 where his band was renamed “Ella and Her Famous Orchestra.” Fitzgerald then went on to record for Decca, where she began singing “bebop” and became known for her famous scatting.

It wasn’t until her manager, Norman Granz, created Verve records around Fitzgerald that she broke free from “bebop” and returned to her roots. This is where she began recording her famous “Songbook” records. My personal favorite (that I am lucky to own) is Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Gershwin Songbook.

She sings these songs with such ease. She transitions emotions flawlessly through such songs “(I’ve Got) Beginner’s Luck” to “The Man I Love.” Her fun side comes out on songs like “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” and “Clap Yo’ Hands.” She even gets a little sexy with “Lorelei.”

Fitzgerald makes singing sound easy and from experience, it is not an easy task to adequately sing a song and project emotion in the same breath. As the liner notes on this album states, she got a pair of shaky knees when she entered her first talent contest as a dancer. So instead of dancing she decided to sing. She won 1st place, $25, and the rest is history.

When I listen to Fitzgerald I feel comfortable. Sometimes you would even swear she’s even in the room with you, lightly caressing your ears with her universal vocals.

I purchased my grandparent’s crushed velvet chairs when they moved. They are very comfortable and I can still smell my grandparent’s house on them to this day. In their time they actually took care of things and they look like they are right off the showroom floor.

Fitzgerald is my crushed velvet chairs. Her music may be old, but it will never lose it’s warmth and comfort. Her love is here to stay.