Here's Esther...Are You Ready/Good Black Is Hard to Crack by Esther Phillips | 5013929070738 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Here's Esther...Are You Ready/Good Black Is Hard to Crack

Here's Esther...Are You Ready/Good Black Is Hard to Crack

by Esther Phillips
     
 
With few exceptions, greats who established themselves during soul's golden era were not well served by the disco era, when arrangements and material often poorly suited their abilities. Such was the case with the final two albums by Esther Phillips, Here's Esther...Are You Ready (1979) and Good Black Is Hard to Crack (1981), here combined onto one CD

Overview

With few exceptions, greats who established themselves during soul's golden era were not well served by the disco era, when arrangements and material often poorly suited their abilities. Such was the case with the final two albums by Esther Phillips, Here's Esther...Are You Ready (1979) and Good Black Is Hard to Crack (1981), here combined onto one CD with historical liner notes. As producer Harvey Mason recalls in those notes, he and Phillips had "a mandate from Mercury to mostly do uptempo material" for Here's Esther...Are You Ready, resulting in an album dominated by disco dance tunes as that genre neared the end of its peak popularity. Phillips is still in fine voice, and not averse to injecting the material with a sly playfulness it doesn't always deserve, or which doesn't even always fit its mood. Covers of "Philadelphia Freedom" and "Our Day Will Come" were never going to challenge or redefine the originals, and while a couple ballads made for something a little more up her alley, they weren't strong enough to make a mark. Notable jazz musician Benny Golson took the production reins for Good Black Is Hard to Crack, and while it's not too much of a departure from the previous album, the settings are generally looser and a little more sympathetic. The songs aren't great, but Phillips sounds more at ease with at least some of them, and hits an acceptably engaging soul-jazz groove on "City Lights." There are still some formulaic disco tunes, though, and none of the tracks on this or its predecessor stand among Phillips' finer work, though she retained enough vocal skill to go out with some dignity.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2011
Label:
Soulmusic.com
UPC:
5013929070738
catalogNumber:
2907073
Rank:
68444

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Esther Phillips   Primary Artist
Hank Crawford   Alto Saxophone
Bobby Bryant   Trumpet
George Bohannon   Trombone
Oscar Brashear   Trumpet
Alexandra Brown   Background Vocals
Garnett Brown   Trombone
Sam Dees   Vocals
Roy Galloway   Background Vocals
Benny Golson   Moog Synthesizer,Oberheim Obxa
Thurman Green   Trombone
Obie Jessie   Background Vocals
Steve Kenoly   Electric Bass
Kenny Mason   Background Vocals
Marti McCall   Background Vocals
Greg Poree   Guitar
Wilton Rabb   Guitar
Maurice Spears   Trombone
Stephanie Spruill   Background Vocals
Melvin Webb   Bongos,Drums
Julia Tillman   Background Vocals
Harvey Mason   Background Vocals
Eric Daniels   fender rhodes
Eugene 'Snooky' Young   Trumpet
Gemi Taylor   Guitar
Maxine Willard   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Willie Nelson   Composer
Elton John   Composer
Bill Meyers   Arranger
Esther Phillips   Executive Producer
Bill LaBounty   Composer
Eugene Record   Composer
Michael Zager   Composer
Alvin Fields   Composer
David Cameron   Composer
David Castell   Engineer
Cissy Houston   Composer
Sam Dees   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Geoff Farr   Programming
Mort Garson   Composer
Benny Golson   Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Horn Arrangements,rhythm arrangement,Synthesizer Arrangements
Berry Gordy   Composer
Bobby Hart   Composer
Bob Hilliard   Composer
Jim Lang   Composer
Kenny Mason   Arranger
Fonce Mizell   Composer
Freddie Perren   Composer
Jerry Peters   Composer
Deke Richards   Composer
Jay Senter   Composer
Gerald Sims   Composer
Bernie Taupin   Composer
Marvin Yancy   Composer
Benjamin F. Wright   Arranger
David Nathan   Liner Notes
Lynn Mack   Composer
Mike Doud   Art Direction
Doug Frank   Composer
Stan Watts   Cover Illustration
Harvey Mason   Arranger,Producer
James McClelland   Composer
Barry Richards   Composer
Red Rowe   Composer
Jonah Ellis   Composer
Joel Webster   Composer
William Saunders   Composer
Carl Davis   Composer
James Burgess   Composer
Eunice Burgess   Composer
Mabelle John   Composer
Charles C. Sims   Arranger

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