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Women In Music

Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

 

Fleetwood Mac RumorsNorah Jones

Women In Music

Carole King TapestryDiana Krall

 
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Women In Music

There have been some great woman musical artists in a variety of genres. We started with a combination some of our favorites. We'll be adding to this list so stop back.  

Just a sampling, but all top shelf. 

Aretha Franklin
Donna Jean and the Tricksters
Emmylou Harris In the Gram Parsons section
Fleetwood Mac
Norah Jones
Rickie Lee Jones
Carole King
Diana Krall
Linda Ronstadt
Carly Simon
Sarah Vaughan

Musical Artist cd reviews and discography

Aretha Franklin

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Musical Artist cd reviews and discography

Because Aretha's single and double collections miss several of my very favorite tracks we highly suggest her box-set, Queen of Soul. It includes most of her  songs through This Girl's In Love With You as well as a fair sampling of material after that, of which that I am less interested in. It may cost more, but it is worth it. It includes a book with detailed credits with musicians, an Atlantic discography, photos, essays, etc. This is an excellent box-set!

Additional Aretha Franklin content

Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings
Musical Artist cd reviews and discography

Donna Jean and the Tricksters

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Musical Artist cd reviews and discography

Donna Jean and the Tricksters is a band composed of the revamped Zen Tricksters with the addition of Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay. Donna Jean is best known for her work with the Grateful Dead. Though, prior to that she did session work at Muscle Shoals Sound studios and appeared on notable recordings including Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," and Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman," among many others.

Their exciting collaboration offers a myriad of styles yielding fresh sounds that are must hear. Released January 29, 2008, their self-titled debut should not be overlooked. For a full review of the release, visit our Donna Jean and the Tricksters section. 

Donna Jean and the Tricksters
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Fleetwood Mac

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Fleetwood Mac has several worthwhile cd's to choose from. Their album Rumors as well as their self-titled debut would be our top recommendation. 

Supplement those with their live album or DVD, The Dance, to pick up some of their missing key tracks as well as hear different arrangements of some of their treasures. This release captures the classic line-up in fine form. CD or DVD

Their two-disc, The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac is a good compilation. While its song selection is excellent as well as it having nice photos, essays, and in-depth song credits, it has two faults. First, the songs are not sequenced chronologically and a few songs are the single rather than album versions. 

 

 

Rumours
Fleetwood Mac
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Norah Jones

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Norah Jones is undeniable exceptional. What grabs me is how easy her music is to listen to. More impressive is how she reaches across so many genres and yields such a pleasant sound. She meshes elements of '70s singer / songwriter-style, jazz, pop, blues, and even country into her music. 

Presently she has three albums of which we prefer the debut. It has a mellower flavor. But, the follow-up, Feels Like Home is also recommended.

Norah Jones contributed to Tim Ries cd, The Rolling Stones Project. She sings a gorgeous rendition of "Wild Horses" that features Bill Frisell on guitar and superb sax work by Ries.

Norah Jones profile

Come Away With Me
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Rickie Lee Jones

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Album Description:
Rickie Lee Jones' career ascent began after famed rock front man Lowell George recorded her composition "Easy Money" for a Little Feat album. As an inimitable song stylist, she first made her indelible mark with the scat-flavored hit "Chuck E's In Love" from her acclaimed 1979 self-titled debut LP. The single hit #4 on Billboard's Pop chart, the album claimed #3, and she won the Grammy for Best New Artist. Ever since, Jones has blazed an artistically idiosyncratic path on a long string of beautiful, adventurous, and personal albums. Her more-than-distinctive vocals encompass rock, jazz, blues, classic pop, folk, and R&B inflections . . . Textured with fluent wordplay and delivered with true heart, Rickie Lee's sound is one of the most authentic and original in contemporary music.

THE FACTS:
The first-ever retrospective collection from this hugely acclaimed artist.
54 career-spanning cuts on three CDs.
Over three hours of newly remastered music.
Compilation co-produced by Rickie Lee herself!
Features the signature songs "Chuck E's In Love," "Coolsville," "The Last Chance Texaco," "Satellites," and "We Belong Together."
Plus the favorites "Pirates," "Flying Cowboys," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Easter Parade" with The Blue Nile, and her Grammy-winning duet with Dr. John, "Makin' Whoopee!"
Debuts 12 previously unreleased tracks, including a rare live take on "Cloud Of Unknowing," plus demos for "Rodeo Girl," "Pretty Poison," "Theme From Gravity," and more.
Deluxe booklet features rarely seen photos, commentary from Jones, hearty testimonials from other artists, and an insightful essay by famed New Yorker scribe Hilton Als.

Rickie Lee Jones - Duchess Of Coolsville Anthology
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Carole King

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Carole King’s album Tapestry is one of the best albums ever; it's that good.  When you contemplate the abundance of strengths from this record some may favor the piano playing, others the vocals. However, what I find most impressive is the songwriting and orchestration.  Don’t get me wrong because the singing and piano playing is top notch. But the manner the accompanying instruments, and background vocals are coordinated to complement King is what places Tapestry miles above the norm. In particular, the bass parts are structured perfectly.

Tapestry's first three songs are all hits, yet different in mood.  The first track “I Feel the Earth Move” is up beat, while “So Far Away” is slow, and “Its Too Late” is on the jazz side in a Van Morrison, Moondance, kind of way. The album leans towards ballads and love songs, but the pace picks in songs like the blues based “Smokewater Jack,” and the album closes in stunning fashion with “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” that is perhaps her strongest song vocally. 

Carole King's album Tapestry contains five standout classic supplemented by several very good compositions, and no throwaways. Again, this is one of the best albums ever.

Box-set
Carole King's box-set 
Natural Woman: The Ode Collection 1968 - 1976, includes the complete Tapestry album in the original order, plus loads of additional material, most of it worthwhile, and some truly sensational. For more details check our Carole King section.

Tapestry
A Natural Woman: The Ode Collection 1968 - 1976
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Diana Krall

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Diana Krall's CD The Girl in the Other Room is her first to include original material. Most of it was co-written by her spouse Elvis Costello. It is supplemented with covers by Tom Waits, Mose Allison, Bonnie Raitt, and Joni Mitchell.

This album brings back a smaller ensemble than her past albums, sort of going back to the Nat King Cole Trio formula with the addition of drums. 

The result is nothing short of phenomenal. The Girl in the Other Room yields a very easy to listen to laid back combination of jazz, and blues numbers. Some tracks emphasize piano, while others are more heavy on guitar (not too hard) and some tracks will dazzle you with both. 

The cover of Joni Mitchell's "Black Crow" is great, it captures elements of Joni, while also giving it a Krall touch. The blues treatment on "Love Me Like a Man" is the most dynamic song that is fairly straight blues until the end where it has a big, all jazzed up finish. 

"I'm Coming Through" displays Anthony Wilson's talents with jazzy guitar solo, as well as the complementary voicings he plays throughout the album behind Krall's singing..

The bottom line on The Girl in the Other Room -- excellent arrangements, singing, piano playing, light guitar phrasing, and rhythm section.

Diana Krall Live in Paris is quite good too. It is available in audio and DVD format, though, the tracks are not identical. She has an excellent backing band. On a few songs she is accompanied by the Orchestre Symphonique Europeen, and Paris Jazz Big Band.
Order -
CD | DVD

The Girl in the Other Room
Diana Krall Live in Paris
CD
| DVD
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Linda Ronstadt

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

A few of the better options for Linda Ronstadt are noted below. There is very little or no overlap at all, and we do recommend them both. 

The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt is a solid 21 disc compilation. It focuses more on her folk, country, and rock material than her pop standards and Latin phases.

Capital's 2006 album, The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capital Years is more of a complete material reissue than a compilation. Her third self-titled album includes several members of the soon to be formed Eagles were members of Linda Rondstadt back-up band: Frey, Henley, Meisner, and Leadon.

It is on two cd's and it includes:
Hand Sown..Home Grown her 1969 solo debut, 
Silk Purse
, 1970
Linda Ronstadt self-titled third album 
Heart Like a Wheel,- 1974
plus five bonus tracks, two of them capturing her live at The Troubadour.

The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt
The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capital Years
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Carly Simon

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations
Carly Simon was on the most popular woman artists to arise out of the  singer/songwriting genre of the 1970's. For a time, she had hit after hit.

Simon's self-titled first album from 1971 contained her first solo hit, "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," Her second album, Anticipation, included the Top 40 track by the same name. She also won the 1971 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Her third album, No Secrets, contained two hits, the immensely popular "You're So Vain," (Mick Jagger sings backup) on the recording. "The Right Thing to Do." 

Her fourth and fifth albums were also very successful. In 1977, she sang the theme song for the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, "Nobody Does It Better" that was a gold Top Ten hit. 

A great way to collect these hits is through one of her compilations. Top choices include a multi-label single 20 song set, Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits, or her two disc expansive Anthology

Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits
Anthology
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

Sarah Vaughan

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Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations

The recording entitled Sarah Vaughan was recorded in 1954 with a superb back-up band. It is sometimes referred to and was even titled on some reissues as Sarah Vaughan and Clifford Ray. Though as the liner notes point out Clifford Ray is brilliant on trumpet, but his role is no bigger than the other session players. I really enjoy the pianists contributions, Jimmy Jones.

The re-mastered version includes a bonus track of an alternate version of "Lullaby of Birdland."

Available in SACD format Sarah Vaughan SACD.

Personnel:
Sarah Vaughan - vocal
Clifford Brown - trumpet
Herbie Mann - Flute
Paul Quinichette - tenor sax
Jimmy Jones piano
Joe Benjamin - bass
Roy Haynes - drums
Ernie Wilkins - arranger

Liner notes - Michael Ullman, the original album liner notes, some photos, etc.

Sarah Vaughan
Woman in Music Reviews and recommendations
Hard Rock Album Reviews and recommendations

 

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