As the icy chill of winter settles in, thoughts turn to warmer times, and the sensuous prospects of Valentine’s Day around the corner. It’s a time that has always enjoyed its own special soundtrack – “’Round Midnight,” “Unforgettable,” “Misty,” “Even The Nights Are Better,” “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” “Body and Soul,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and of course, “My Funny Valentine.”
A bouquet of familiar songs weaves its way through the first nine volumes of FROM THE HEART, a new series that will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting January 20th through Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
FROM THE HEART will be introduced with collections by nine core artists: Air Supply (on Arista/Legacy), Babyface (Epic/Legacy), Miles Davis (Columbia/Legacy), Aretha Franklin (Columbia/Arista/Legacy), Billie Holiday (Columbia/Legacy), the Isley Brothers (T-Neck/Epic/Legacy), Etta James (RCA Victor/Legacy), Dolly Parton (RCA/Legacy), and Frank Sinatra (Columbia/RCA Victor/Legacy).
Etta James is in that proud and regal line of African-America female vocalists that runs from Bessie Smith through Dinah Washington and Aretha Franklin. Steeped in gospel and the blues, James (b. Jamesetta Hawkins in 1938) brings a cutting voice and razor-sharp phrasing to anything she sings – and she can sing just about anything. Rhythm & Bues, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, blue ballads, even country-flavored tunes…James renders them all with conviction and hard-won wisdom of the ways of the world. This compilation, taken from recordings made in the late 20th and early-21st centuries, spotlights her expert jazz singing, with the accent on the Great American Songbook. Backed by such jazz luminaries as pianist-arranger Cedar Walton, tenor saxophonists Eddie Harris, Red Holloway, and Herman Riley, and bassist John Clayton, James is equally at home on ballads (“I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Body And Soul”) or burners (a truly incendiary “Night And Day”). On the R&B side, there are wrenching performances of the Otis Redding classic “I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long” and Brook Benton’s “I’ll Take Care Of You.” A member of both the Rock ‘n’ Roll and Blues Halls Of Fame, Etta James is also in the pantheon of jazz singers.
FROM THE HEART by ETTA JAMES (RCA Victor/Legacy). Selections: 1. At Last * 2. I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long * 3. There Is No Greater Love 4. He’s Funny That Way * 5. I’ll Take Care Of You * 6. Come Rain Or Come Shine 7. My Man * 8. Try A Little Tenderness * 9. Teach Me Tonight * 10. Time After Time * 11. I’ll Be Seeing You * 12. My Funny Valentine * 13. Body And Soul 14. The Man I Love * 15. Night And Day
Fans can order Etta James' From The Heart now from Amazon for just $11.98.