Monday, January 23, 2012

Sailing Away

(I like this picture because it's what my mom would look like as a black woman)

Of all the Etta James obits, Hilton Also wrote my favorite: here. It's just the right amount of over-the-top - something Ms. James certainly was.

...but is talent enough if one has been continually unloved by those unreliable specimens, other people? That was what her big sound was about—a deafening cry in the wilderness of her unconquerable loneliness. She was fat: with drugs, food, incredible technical skill. But nothing could fill her up. All she could do was try to expel—shake off—some of the evening’s exertions (looking for dope on a more or less daily basis amounts to a job in itself) in the recording studio, where she sang a kind of speeded up blues, which I do not associate with R.&B. so much as it being just James’s singing, a variation of a sound I’ve heard all my life: black mothers calling down from various tenement windows for their children to come on in and eat their supper, or take some kind of nourishment, emotional and otherwise.

Anyway, here she is doing one of the handful of Randy Newman songs I like.

One thing I always like about this song is that no matter who does it (you'd expect it of Linda Ronstadt) they sort of leave out the irony.

In Conclusion, here's one of those b-sides from her best album, the Muscle Shoals one. Historically, this is one I highlight.

Rest in Peace, Etta. Thanks for the good times.

No comments: