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Esther Phillips – From A Whisper To A Scream (1971/2013) [Official Digital Download DSF DSD64/2.82MHz]

Esther Phillips – From A Whisper To A Scream (1971/2013)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 38:02 minutes | 1,5 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © CTI Records
Recorded: December, 1971 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

One of Esther Phillips finest ’70s releases, From a Whisper to a Scream is the first of seven albums the singer recorded for CTI offshoot Kudu. Arranged and conducted by Pee Wee Ellis, the December 1971 session also involved principal players such as bassist Gordon Edwards, drummer Bernard Purdie, percussionist Airto, guitarists Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale, keyboardist Richard Tee, and saxophonists Hank Crawford and David Liebman. Setting the tone for Phillips’ Kudu era, Whisper offers a series of spacious, yet fully arranged ballads of burning heartache, along with a handful of relatively funky numbers that do nothing to compromise her talent, dishing out loads of classy grit. It’s a definite point of departure from the likes of Esther Phillips Sings and And I Love Him, her field of contemporaries closer to Al Green and Aretha Franklin than before. She grabs onto “Home Is Where the Hatred Is,” Gil Scott-Heron’s most harrowing rumination on drug dependency — which, at that point, wasn’t even a year old — as if it were her very own, and it’s all the more poignant given its parallels with her own life. (Its meaning was only compounded by her death in 1984.) Though there is absolutely nothing lacking in the album’s more energetic moments, it’s still the ballads that shine brightest, like the alternately fragile and explosive “From a Whisper to a Scream” (Allen Toussaint) and a staggering “Baby, I’m for Real” (Marvin and Anna Gordy, made popular by the Originals) so vulnerable yet commanding that it really should’ve closed the album.

1 Home Is Where The Hatred Is 3:28
2 From A Whisper To A Scream 4:18
3 To Lay Down Beside You 5:06
4 That’s All Right With Me 3:21
5 ‘Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone 3:36
6 Sweet Touch Of Love 3:21
7 Baby, I’m For Real 4:23
8 Your Love Is So Doggone Good 4:04
8 Scarred Knees 6:24

Alto Saxophone – Hank Crawford
Arranged By, Conductor – Pee Wee Ellis
Arranged By [Rhythm] – Jack Wilson
Arranged By [Strings] – Don Sebesky
Baritone Saxophone – David Liebman
Bass – Gordon Edwards
Cello – Alan Shulman, Charles McCracken
Drums – Bernard Purdie
Flugelhorn – John Eckert, John Gatchell
Flute – David Liebman, Frank Vicari
Guitar – Cornell Dupree, Eric Gale
Harp – Margaret Ross
Organ – Richard Tee
Percussion – Airto Moreira
Piano – Richard Tee
Tenor Saxophone – Frank Vicari
Trombone – Dick Griffin, Sam Burtis
Trumpet – John Eckert, John Gatchell
Viola – Harold Coletta, Harry Zaratzian
Violin – Alvin Rogers, Charles Libove, Guy Lumia, Jack Zayde, Leo Kahn, Max Hollander, Max Pollikoff, Michael Comins, Paul Winter
Vocals – Barbara Massey, Hilda Harris, Joshie Armstead, Louis St. Louis, Tasha Thomas


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