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Plenty of 'Oomph' from Etta
on 24 February 2014
Etta James must have been the nearest thing to Aretha Franklin. From Los Angeles, Etta died, aged 74, in 2012
Her mother was 14 when she had Etta; from an unidentified husband. Etta had her only number one at age 15 and was dating BB King by the following year. She battled drugs all her life.
She made 39 albums and over 50 singles, she also won 6 Grammy awards.
There are 25 tracks on this album covering a period of 40 years. She had such a powerful and distinctive voice. There are a couple of duets on here with Harry Fuqua, which were both hits in America - this is not mentioned on the rather limited album enclosure.
I have to say that I prefer Etta's `oomph' to both Billie Holiday's and Ella Fitzgerald's style, which is much more contained. There's lots of great songs on here. I was a little underwhelmed by her version of 'Loving Arms' but really enjoyed her version of 'Light My Fire.'
I also liked the big band backing, with plenty of brass, saxophone solos, crisp drumming and blues & jazz guitar - it comes across as almost 'live' in places.'