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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Diva is one of my favorites! Every song is off the charts. Love Love LOVE Miss Chaka Khan!Published 21 months ago by dancer25
This recording catches the Chaka's full range and brings it to life. Beautiful on every level. I highly recommend this CD.Published on February 7, 2014 by Greg D.
Best CD since "I Feel for You." She hasnt lost her touch. Smooth music for a rough day at work.Published on September 15, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Always putting her vocal stamp on everything she touches, "Lady Chaka" once again comes up in spades on this classic collection of American standards. Read morePublished on October 20, 2010 by Nandu
There was a little mix up with the shipping, but the seller was very helpful once he learned of the problem. I just love the CD, and would buy from the seller again. ThanksPublished on June 21, 2009 by tish
I was leary at first, strings and Chaka? But wow, her voice is stellar. Her phrasing and interpretations of these songs are fresh and inspiring. Read morePublished on May 2, 2009 by Singer Girl
I've had this for a while & never really listened to it. I don't know why cause Chaka does not disappoint. Read morePublished on September 11, 2008 by T. Kenard