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Gladys Knight Another Legend is Back

Monday, September 18, 2006


Peerless performer makes Verve Records debut with an homage to the great legends of song who came before her

AUDIO- God Bless The Child

On Tuesday, October 10, 2006, the one-and-only Gladys Knight will release Before Me, her debut recording on the venerable Verve Records label. The album is a heartfelt homage to the great legends of song who paved the way for her to become a legendary performer in her own right. Many of these artists, including the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne, were friends, mentors, colleagues, of Knight since the beginning of her career, and all gave her immeasurable inspiration, courage, and strength.

When a woman like Gladys Knight turns her attention to the classics that inspired her, the listener is in for a once in a lifetime experience. Recorded in New York and Los Angeles and helmed by Grammy winning master producers Tommy LiPuma (Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, George Benson) and Phil Ramone (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett), Before Me finds Knight interpreting timeless material. From the righteous blues of "God Bless the Child" and a bossa nova-kissed "The Man I Love" to the spirit-sending "Come Sunday" and brassy "I've Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)," it’s clear that Knight's voice is as clear, strong, and expressive as ever. It's also clear how near and dear to her heart this project has been.

"As I was getting this music together," Ms Knight reflects, "the title, Before Me, just rang in my head. I was impressed to make a reference to those glorious performers that set the pace for me to be a part of this industry— from the great ladies of song Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone and Mahalia Jackson to supremely talented gentlemen such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Sammy Davis, Jr. These people made great strides not just with their music, but because of who they were as people. I salute these wonderful artists that set it up for me to do the extraordinary music that makes up Before Me."

LiPuma and Ramone surrounded Knight with the cream of the jazz universe, including the renowned Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for this special recording, plus musicians such as saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman, peerless keyboardist Joe Sample, trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti, and guitarists Russell Malone and Anthony Wilson.

The impeccable production and masterful arrangements by John Clayton and Billy Childs help craft a record that can truly be called a revelation. Knight comes out swinging on a grand version of "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" and then softens the mood with a tender rendition of "The Man I Love," an intimate "Good Morning Heartache," and a gentle "Since I Fell for You."

One of the album's highlights is a powerful, bluesy interpretation of Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child." Other standout tracks on the album include a cinematic telling of "Someone To Watch Over Me" and an unforgettable "Stormy Weather" punctuated by incredible horn arrangements.

Some of the other classic tunes treated to Knight's golden voice include "This Bitter Earth, a lesser known song by Dinah Washington" "I'll Be Seeing You," and "But Not For Me." The record closes with the Duke Ellington-penned "Come Sunday," a poignant and inspirational song of faith.

Gladys Knight is a true living legend of modern music. She is a six-time GRAMMY winner who has had number one hits in a wide variety of musical genres including pop, R&B, and adult contemporary, performed on Broadway, appeared in films, and is a member of the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame. While this is not her first foray into the world of the classic American song repertoire (she studied and performed in a jazz band in Atlanta as a youngster), she is taking a strong new step with Before Me, as she pays her respects to those who inspired, challenged, and supported her along the way.

Gladys Knight's Before Me available on CD October 10, 2006.

Before Me - Tracklist

1. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me (Ellington–Russell) Produced by Tommy LiPuma
2. The Man I Love (Gershwin–Gershwin) Produced by Phil Ramone
3. Good Morning Heartache (Drake–Fisher–Higginbotham) Produced by Tommy LiPuma
4. Since I Fell For You (Johnson) Produced by Tommy LiPuma
5. God Bless the Child (Hertzog–Holiday) Produced by Phil Ramone
6. This Bitter Earth (Otis) Produced by Tommy LiPuma
7. I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good (Ellington–Webster) Produced by Phil Ramone
8. Someone to Watch Over Me (Gershwin–Gershwin) Produced by Phil Ramone
9. But Not For Me (Gershwin–Gershwin) Produced by Phil Ramone
10. I’ll Be Seeing You (Fain–Kahal) Produced by Phil Ramone
11. Stormy Weather (Arlen–Koehler) Produced by Tommy LiPuma
12. Come Sunday (Ellington) Produced by Tommy LiPuma

posted by Shelia, 1:03 PM


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