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Marcia BALL, Irma THOMAS, Tracy NELSON – Sing It 1998

Posted in BLUES, Irma THOMAS, Marcia BALL, Tracy NELSON on December 10, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Marcia BALL, Irma THOMAS, Tracy NELSON – Sing It 1998

Blues

Vocal duties are distributed evenly to showcase the expressive capabilities of each, particularly on smokey ballads like “He’s Mine” and “You Don’t Nothin’ About Love,” so Ball, Thomas and Nelson each get the chance to display their gifts as vocalists, to exercise their individual phrasing, intonation, and timbre. Their interaction as a trio is excellent as well, churning out thick harmonies with slinky syncopation over the solid grooves of their fine backing band. SING IT! is a rare example of the disappearing entity: a real soul album. Nominated for a Grammy in 1999.
**
It’s a rare treat to have 3 enormously talented divas somehow combine their original powerful distinctive voices into one song but they managed to do it with gusto and joy. Tracey Nelson steals the show, however, with her solos such as “In Tears” which dazzle the listener with her dynamic, powerful voice which makes these songs her own. I have seen her in person and I would be afraid to share the stage with her because her vocals would blow me off the stage.
**
A trio of R&B divas: Thomas, a long-time New Orleans songstress; Ball, a native Louisianan crooner; and Nelson, lead singer for the blues-rock group Mother Earth since the mid 60’s– team up on this solid collection of dance and sultry soul numbers. Employing Atlantic/Motown-style arrangements and girl-group backing harmonies, these three bring sophisticated craft and well-seasoned throats to the mic for such groove-inducers as “Love Maker, ” “I Want To Do Everything For You,” and the rhythmic strut of “Woman On The Move.
From Entertainment Weekly.
**
Why settle for one great female vocalist when you can get three, especially when they’re stylish soul diva Irma Thomas, Tracy “Mother Earth” Nelson, and swamp rocker (and roller) Marcia Ball. The talented trio take the Sing It! title seriously, belting all hues of blues with satisfying sass and sincerity. Backed by a fine and funky band of Memphis-soul stalwarts and New Orleans session stars, the ladies shine both individually and as a team. Thomas, the longtime “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” struts her stuff on the Bobby “Blue” Bland classic “Yield Not to Temptation,” while Ball puts some patented bayou boogie, powered by her slinky piano lines, into her spotlight songs. Nelson repeatedly stops the show with her enormous, wraparound voice, transforming tunes like “In Tears” from simple country-flavored ballads into cathartic emotional experiences. But it’s the combined voices that makes the session so special, and the title track, a soulfully scintillating second-line anthem, is the most enjoyable example of the vocal virtuosity of these women. It’s a quintessential New Orleans celebration of singing, well worth the purchase price by itself, and it, like the entire album, also serves as an excellent sampler of the multiple talents of the superb song stylists involved.
By Michael Point.
**
Sing It! is a blessed event — and a great excuse to visit New Orleans for this “summit meeting” of major minds and throats of three of the most formidable female voices on at least three musical maps today. Other triple threat records take heed: this is exactly how its done, a perfect collaboration done with honor, grace, and deep within the southern traditions of vocal licks-trading, which makes this artifact timeproof. Tracy Nelson has that earth-mother caterwaul as she summons, and we recall, the depths of the ’60s as only Tracy Nelson can remind us. Irma Thomas growls ferociously from under a streetlamp and will not let us walk on by. Her sass is matched by Marci Ball’s downtown attitude and hunker-down suggestiveness. Spinetinglers to the core, each one. These tunes romp as well as they stomp and successfully mark territories among soul singers, blues artists, country strutters and just plain funky womanity, they way we love our Memphis gals (and how they can scare the crawfish out of a fella). The songs themselves sing of familiar old territories — deadbeat dads and old lovers, less than rosy rolling in the clover, releasing those Saturday night ya-yas — but the intensity of each of these hardcore principals bring a resonance to each small moment on the record. Their backup reads like a veritable roster of first-chair Memphis originals, installing that swampy-deep backwoods, diggin-it groove. This is a fine, fine record by three brilliant, completely authentic women: a gem of backwater to runneth over.
By Becky Byrkit.
**
Marcia Ball- (Vocals, Piano);
Irma Thomas, Tracy Nelson- (Vocals);
Michael Toles- (Acoustic & Electric Guitars);
Ed Petersen, Joe Cabral, Derek Huston- (Tenor Sax);
Victor Goines- (Baritone Sax);
Barney Floyd, Jamil Sharif- (Trumpet);
David Torkanowsky- (Acoustic & Electric Pianos, Hammond B-3 Organ);
Davell Crawford- (Hammond B-3 Organ);
Lee Allen Zeno- (Bass);
Scott Billington- (Tambourine);
Raymond Weber- (Drums, Percussion).
**
01. Sing It (4:17)
02. I Want To (Everything For You) (2:39)
03. In Tears (3:11)
04. Love Maker (4:17)
05. Yield Not To Temptation (3:02)
06. Heart To Heart (4:42)
07. People Will Be People (4:50)
08. Please No More (4:15)
09. If I Know You (3:13)
10. Woman On The Move (4:01)
11. He’s Mine (2:56)
12. Shouldn’t I Love Him (3:07)
13. You Don’t Know Nothin’ About Love (4:44)
**

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