Blue

Blue

5.0 2
by Diana Ross
     
 
Long before Linda Ronstadt or Natalie Cole delved into the Great American Songbook, Diana Ross took the plunge during her Oscar-nominated turn as Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues. Her vocal interpretations on the soundtrack amply proved that, despite her pop beginnings, the former Supreme had a genuine

Overview

Long before Linda Ronstadt or Natalie Cole delved into the Great American Songbook, Diana Ross took the plunge during her Oscar-nominated turn as Billie Holiday in the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues. Her vocal interpretations on the soundtrack amply proved that, despite her pop beginnings, the former Supreme had a genuine feel for jazz. Though she went on to record this follow-up album, Blue languished in a vault for 30 years. (Rumors abound that Motown chief Berry Gordy, then Ross's paramour, felt she was straying too far from her Top 40 roots and shelved the project.) Accompanied by many of the same musicians who'd played alongside Holiday, including trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, Ross's singing on Blue subtly swings, whether she's infusing sly seduction into a string-caressed reading of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" or affecting a slight growl amid the swanky arrangements of "T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness if I Do." And when she's not darting amid the vibes dotting a snappy rendition of "Love Is Here to Stay," Ross's yearning phrasing helps to conjure romantic images of a late-night rendezvous on the Benny Green-flavored guitar peppering "Can't Get Started with You." Blue is as relevant today as when it was recorded, and shows how multifaceted this dynamic diva really is.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rob Theakston
For soul fanatics, the Motown archives are the musical equivalent to the Wonka building in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. Every twist and turn is filled with the possibility of resuscitation, preservation, and in some instances surprise discoveries. Such is the case with Blue, which was supposed to be the follow-up album to Diana Ross' wildly successful Lady Sings the Blues, but was shelved when Motown maestro Berry Gordy took Ross back in a more pop direction with Touch Me in the Morning. This direction, while proving successful at the time, is unfortunate, as the performances on Blue rival (and in some instances best) the performances on Lady Sings the Blues. A few of these tracks would later see the day on other albums ("Little Girl Blue" on Touch Me in the Morning and "Smile" on Diana Ross in 1976) but with alternate vocal takes and mixes. But Ross' portrayal of Billie Holiday was effective; it wasn't just a carbon copy reenactment of Holiday, but a cultivation of her essence when placed on-stage or in the studio behind a microphone. Gil Askey's arrangements are top-notch without sounding like dinner theater knock-offs. Blue is an album every bit as bold an artistic statement as her contemporaries Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, who were recording the opuses Where I'm Coming From and What's Going On around the same time, and for Ross fans, Blue is every bit as enjoyable as her sultriest moments as the supreme Supreme.
Billboard - Gail Mitchell
This album is one of the tastier testaments to timeless music. Ross intuits Holiday's relaxed interpretive approach but makes it her own.
The Guardian - Dorian Lynskey
A pleasant diversion. While the great jazz singers had voices marbled with pain, Ross is as bright and clear as coloured glass, and arranger Gil Askey mostly steers her down the sunny side of the street.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2006
Label:
Motown
UPC:
0602498870037
catalogNumber:
000569402

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Diana Ross   Primary Artist
Gil Askey   Conductor

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Vernon Duke   Composer
Stanley Adams   Composer
Gil Askey   Producer
Toots Camarata   Composer
Guy Costa   Engineer
Eddie DeLange   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Porter Grainger   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Bill MacMeeken   Engineer
Larry Miles   Engineer
Cole Porter   Composer
Ralph Rainger   Composer
Leo Robin   Composer
Art Stewart   Engineer
Russ Terrana   Engineer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Harry Weinger   Liner Notes
Albert Willemetz   Composer
David Ritz   Liner Notes
Bill Carey   Composer
Carl Fischer   Composer
Harry Langdon   Cover Photo
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Richard A. Whiting   Composer
Jacques Charles   Composer
Channing Pollack   Composer
Everett Robbins   Composer
Maurice Yvain   Composer
Sidney Keith Russell   Composer
Pat Lawrence   Executive Producer
John B. Norman   Engineer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Michele Horie   Producer,Artwork
Cal Harris   Engineer
Richard Jacques   Composer
Bernard Yuffy   Composer
Charles Daniels   Composer
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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Blue 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Smooth, touching vocals and melodies makes this the the best we've heard from Ross since Touch Me in the Morning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago