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66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 5, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

This new Chaka album is a superb collection of standards, sure to be a coveted treasure for decades to come. She delivers beautiful renditions of such classics as "Round Midnight", "To Sir With Love", "I'm In The Mood For Love", & "Stormy Weather", adding her own special brand of vocal expertise to each song.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hey Big Spender
  2. Hazels Hips
  3. The Best Is Yet To Come
  4. Crazy
  5. I'm In The Mood For Love
  6. Is That All There Is
  7. Stormy Weather
  8. Round Midnight
  9. Teach Me Tonight
  10. To Sir With Love
  11. Diamonds Are Forever
  12. Goldfinger
  13. I Believe

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Music World
  • ASIN: B0002X7G8E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,954 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Raider Jack on October 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
ClassiKhan, Chaka's latest outing of standards is really like a breath of fresh air. Interestingly enough, the title is rather misleading for diehard Chaka fans would be expecting smooth, funky, grooves, that she is known far and wide for. But her jazz afinity/expertise has always been relegated to the back burner for obviously commercial and unforgivably negative reasons.

Chaka is one of the all-time premiere vocalists and it is terribly unfair to pigeonhole her or any other artist for that matter whose craft transcends cateogrization.

This is a wonderful, jazzy set of standards that true music aficianados will readily appreciate as well as enjoy. There are no surprises here in terms of vocal performance - Chaka can get as smoky, and sensual, and exhilarating as anyone out there and she is more than capably backed up by the London Symphony Orchestra no less. On a very good sound system, this is the bomb! Top-notch production which gives you the feeling of being in a grand concert hall with Chaka blowing you away while you sip luxuriously on your favorite cocktail and enjoy a good cigarette.

The only complaint I have is the choice of selections. Chaka put out a jazz album in the early days with Chick Corea and Ron Carter which is ample evidence that she can indeed carry a jazz standards album with absolutely no problem. Even some of her R&B stylings indicate an enormous range. As a matter of fact, the whole time I listened to this I was reminded when Aretha did the very same thing releasing Soul 69, quite possibly her best Atlantic recording. This was an album of standards as well with Aretha literraly blowing you away with smoky renditions of blues and jazz cuts, but with an earthier selection.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jim Bagley on October 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Chaka Khan is one of the greatest vocalists of all time. But with the exception of her 1992 disk The Woman I Am, her solo albums have been extremely uneven. Thus, CLASSIKHAN - her new album of standards and pop culture favorites - must rank as one of the year's most pleasant surprises. An undeniable winner from start to finish.

The London Symphony Orchestra suceeds with Khan where so many others have struggled since her days with Rufus by providing tasteful accompaniment that never detracts from Khan's sublime, out-front vocals. While the instrumental arrangements tend to vary little from the best known renditions of these classics, the tracks come off sounding fresh thanks to Khan's vocal stylings.

The eclectic, thirteen track lineup - all selected by Khan - is dominated by jazz standards (Hazel's Hips, The Best Is Yet To Come, I'm In The Mood For Love, Stormy Weather, Round Midnight, and Teach Me Tonight). It also includes a broadway show tune (Hey Big Spender from Sweet Charity), '60s country (Patsy Cline's Crazy) and pop (Peggy Lee's Is That All There Is) classics, and the themes of film favorites from Khan's youth (To Sir With Love, Goldfinger, and Diamonds Are Forever). The collection then concludes with an original Khan composition "I Believe" - an exquisite ballad that returns Khan to the present.

Though I love all of the tracks on this collection, my personal favorite is easily Khan's take on Is That All There Is. While Peggy Lee's version is somber and resigned, in Khan hands it becomes sassy and defiant. A strong reminder of what a unique talent she is.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Grimes on November 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
First - I love this CD and would give it 10 stars if Amazon had them. I was raised with her music and my own daughter loves her also.

Second - in response to the reviewer who compares Chaka to Ashanti! You can not compare an artist like Chaka, who has recorded pop, r&b, jazz, fusion, and standards; and who has been a constant on the charts for more than 25 years; with a mostly electronically enhanced child-like image that has the tasteless nerve to wear what amounts to an enhanced bra on her Christmas CD! It's pure class over a simple piece of --s.

In a world with disposable music I'll take Chaka, Anita, Regina, and Barbra over Ashanti and her body bearing clones any day!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Olukayode Balogun on June 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge fan of Chaka Khan for decades and have practically all the stuff she's ever done on either LP or CD, including her work with Rufus, Quincy Jones, Lionel Hampton, Fourplay and a number of others I can't recall right now. I'm guessing I wasn't alone when there was talk - after many years of will she or won't she - of her releasing an album of jazz standards. I'm sure I wasn't alone in recalling, for example, her renditions of "The End Of A Love Affair" and "I'll Be Around" (featuring Miles Davis, no less) on her "C.K." album or "And The Melody Still Lingers On (Night In Tunisia)" on the "What Cha' Gonna Do For Me" album, "Be Bop Medley" on the album "Chaka Khan", "My Funny Valentine" on the soundtrack to the "Waiting to Exhale" movie or indeed, her ultimate jazz performance in my view, the "Echoes Of An Era" album she did with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White.

And thus I'm sure I wasn't alone in being a tad disappointed with this set. Sure, it's Chaka, sure these are jazz standards, sure she belts (in places) and sure, she's even backed by the London Symphony Orchestra but something seems to be missing. I can't put my finger on it but it seems as if her heart wasn't in what she was doing and she was basically just going through the motions. Not even great support from Joe Sample (on three songs - "Round Midnight", "Stormy Weather" and "Teach Me Tonight") saves the album. The set is produced by Eve Nelson and I have to confess I've never heard of her. How come Chaka didn't turn to true and tested folk she's worked with on jazz tunes before? People like Arif Mardin or Russ Titleman?

I'll support Chaka Khan 'til the end and she is and will always be one of the few artistes out there who's stuff I'll buy without listening to it first. I just feel slightly let down by this CD. Come on girl, we all know you can do better than this.
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