The world lost one of the greatest singers of all time earlier this year when Etta James passed away. Thanks to the continued partnership between Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds though, her voice will never be gone, nor will the memory of the vocal titan. That is thanks to the brand new live release, “Etta James: Live at Montreux 1975 – 1993.”
The brand new release, “Etta James: Live at Montreux 1975 – 1993 is a wonderful tribute to a wonderful singer. She really was a singer among singers. This compilation of her performances from the famed Montreux Jazz Festival is proof of that, as if she really needed proof. It’s one more collection that will help keep her memory and her voice alive for many more generations. The performances culled for this compilation show just how versatile she was as a vocalist. She showed she was a powerhouse vocalist at times. And at others, she was as soft and gentle as perhaps Billie Holiday. It all combines to make an excellent tribute to an excellent singer.
Some of the best examples of James’ powerhouse abilities are in the likes of ‘How Strong is a Woman’, ‘W.O.M.A.N.’ and the compilation’s opener, ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You.’ The way that she sings in the opener and in ‘W.O.M.A.N.’ gives the songs a gritty, naughty vibe, for lack of better wording. Her style perfectly catches the sensuality of the songs, making them favorites for any happy couple. And the power in her voice as she sings, “A woman is strong as a mule/for the man she loves.” The way that the band drives the song gives it even more of an oomph, especially in the live setting. It makes for one of the compilation’s highest of points.
James showed how powerful and bombastic her voice was during her performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival. For all the power in her pipes, James also showed that she could be gentle and delicate, too. One of the prime examples of this is in ‘A Lover is Forever.’ Again, the mix of her vocal prowess and the music makes for another amazing piece that expertly captures the emotion of the song. this effect is also heard in the medley of ‘At Last’/’Trust in Me’/’A Sunday Kind of Love.’ She proved on all of these songs that she understood and respected her craft. She was able to interpret the songs in a way that would translate them with ease to her audiences. The same thing applies to her more powerful songs, too.
When it’s all said and done, “Etta James Live at Montreux 1975 – 1993” shows to be a fitting tribute to a woman who was a strong woman and an equally strong singer. It is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered directly through Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website at http://www.eagle-rock.com. The companion DVD and blu-ray to this release will be released later this month via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
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