Irene Reid, vocals; Leo Johnson and Dave Hubbard, tenor saxophone; Jimmy Sigler, piano and strings; Monsoor Sabree, synthesizer; Jimmy Ponder, Rodney Jones, Ronald Jackson and Melvin Sparks, guitar; Harry Anderson and Tariq Shah, acoustic bass; Jesse "Cheese" Hameen, drums
Irene Reid refined her style over the past forty years in New York clubs and touring with Count Basie during the early 1960's. Now at the age of 74, she has been "rediscovered" and are we ever lucky!
On the opening cut, "Our Day Will Come," Reid demonstrates a sweet vocal style complemented by a wonderful tenor saxophone solo by Leo Johnson. The title cut, "Thanks To You," is a perfect example of Reid's lush vocals. Reid's treatment on "Be A Sweet Pumpkin" is reminiscent of the late great, Etta Jones, and is swinging and joyful. Jimmy Ponder's guitar playing on this one is delicate and delightful. Reid's agile lyrical style is well expressed on the tune "Young And Foolish." "Living In Harmony" is a wonderfully soulful challenge to the social ill of broken families. Reid creatively interprets the standard "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." On the ballad, "The Need To Be," Reid's vocal clarity and nuance is exquisite. The blues-influenced tune "I Wish I'd Never Loved At All" is a slow mournful pleading. "This Bitter Earth" showcases Reid's broad vocal range and elegant phrasing on this nostalgic exercise.
The groovy tune "Soul Serenade" deserves a special mention. It features Dave Hubbard on tenor saxophone in a full-bodied swinging blues vein and Reid astutely maneuvers around the melody. This tune alone is worth the price of admission to this wonderful CD but there is nothing not to like on this one-definitely a must-have for connoisseurs of great singers!
by Dorothy L. Hill
New Sounds - September 2004
Jazz Now Interactive September 2004 Vol 14 No. 5 - Table of Contents