So Amazing: An All Star Tribute to Luther Vandross

So Amazing: An All Star Tribute to Luther Vandross

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This festive tribute record to Luther Vandross -- one of greatest talents to emerge from the R&B world in the '80s and '90s -- is appropriately packed with star power. A sassy Mary J. Blige kicks things off by strutting through a funky Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced reading of "Never Too Much" that percolates over a popping bass line and just a smattering of… See more details below

Overview

This festive tribute record to Luther Vandross -- one of greatest talents to emerge from the R&B world in the '80s and '90s -- is appropriately packed with star power. A sassy Mary J. Blige kicks things off by strutting through a funky Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced reading of "Never Too Much" that percolates over a popping bass line and just a smattering of orchestration. Throughout, executive producer and music industry legend Clive Davis flaunts his matchmaking abilities, pairing A-list singers with a cherry-picked set list of Vandross originals and cover songs the crooner remade in his own unique style. Luther idol-and-friend Aretha Franklin shines on a string-caressed version of "A House Is Not a Home," infusing the Bacharach/David classicwith a throaty inflection that conveys the kind of bittersweet emotiveness Vandross achieved on his own version. Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx once again shows off his musical chops on a slow-roiling rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'". Wonder himself appears alongside Beyonc� on the harmony-rich title cut, accented by lush strings and a harmonica solo. Elsewhere, Patti LaBelle -- Vandross was once president of her fan club -- gives a gospel-flavored twist to "Here & Now," tweaked by a bit of call-and-response vocalizing, and American Idol winner Fantasia turns in an uplifting "'Til My Baby Comes Home." Although there are a few missteps -- namely Usher's amateurish attempt at "Superstar" and Wyclef's inexplicably reggae-tinged reading of "Always & Forever" -- So Amazing is a stellar homage to Vandross's unforgettable musical legacy.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - David Jeffries
They weren't kidding when they put "All-Star" in the subtitle, but the most satisfying thing about this big-name tribute to the late Luther Vandross is how many of these "All-Stars" let their guard down, expressing both genuine grief over the loss of R&B's most likeable fellows and jubilation over his music, which spoke to so many people, offered a rich blend of influences, and had a warm, soulful grace both in its writing and delivery. Mary J. Blige captures everyone's first encounter with the great "Never Too Much" with a bit of dialog before launching into one of her warmest, most elegant performances. The grief of Aretha Franklin on "A House Is Not a Home" is monolithic, while fellow diva Patti LaBelle hits every "I need you now" in "Here & Now" with touching despair, inferring loss over lyrics that deal with comfort and "always being there." His smoky performance on "Love Won't Let Me Wait" just proves how great a "John Legend: With Strings" album would be, while Angie Stone and "Since I Lost My Baby" is the perfect marriage of singer and song. Well-dressed, finger-snappin' numbers from Jamie Foxx, Fantasia, and Beyonc� with Stevie Wonder capture Luther's big smile while Donna Summer recalls his disco roots with a dancefloor "Power of Love." Add Alicia Keys and Jermaine Paul sounding epic on "If This World Were Mine" and you've got enough highlights to ignore Celine Dion's maudlin "Dance with My Father" and Elton John's misguided Joe Cocker impersonation on "Anyone Who Had a Heart," another "duet" with the deceased made possible through Pro-Tools. Besides these minor annoyances, So Amazing is meatier than most tributes, with deeply grateful performances that not only capture the spirit of Luther but do an excellent job of bringing his widespread influence to the surface.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
Label:
J-Records
UPC:
0828766247220
catalogNumber:
62472

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Aretha Franklin   Vocals
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Bobby Ross Avila   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Javier Solís   Percussion
Sanford Allen   Violin,Concert Master
Robert Bacon   Guitar
Diane Barere   Cello
Jerry Barnes   Bass
Mary J. Blige   Background Vocals
Denyse Buffum   Viola
Robert Carlisle   Horn
Robert Chausow   Violin,Cello
Ray Chew   Conductor
Luis Conte   Percussion
Larry Corbett   Cello
Nathan East   Bass
Joe Ferrante   Trombone
Barry Finclair   Violin,Cello
Armen Garabedian   Violin
Berj Garabedian   Violin
Crystal Garner   Viola
Julie Gigante   Violin
Gordon Gottlieb   Percussion
Hae Young Ham   Violin
Jerry Hey   Conductor
Stanley Hunte   Violin,Cello
James Hynes   Flugelhorn
Jean Ingraham   Violin
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Jimmy Jam   Keyboards
Peter Kent   Violin
Jeanne LeBlanc   Cello
Richard Locker   Cello
Ricky Minor   Bass
Phillip Myers   Horn
Lori Perry   Background Vocals
Leon Pendarvis   Piano
Carolyn Perry   Background Vocals
Darlene Perry   Background Vocals
Sharon Perry   Background Vocals
Earl Phillips   Bass Trombone
Katia Popov   Violin
Ralph Rolle   Drums
Josefina Vergara   Violin
John Wittenberg   Violin
Stevie Wonder   Harmonica,Vocals
Jimmy Wright   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Benjamin F. Wright   Conductor
Richard Brice   Viola
Susan Chatman   Violin
Karen Elaine Bakunin   Viola
Craig Mumm   Flute,Viola
Artie Reynolds   Bass
Maxine Roach   Viola
Raphael Saadiq   Bass
Suzie Katayama   Conductor
David Blinn   Viola
Prof. T.   Background Vocals
Yuri Vodovoz   Violin
Katherine LiVolsi Stern   Violin
Elizabeth Mann   Flute
Valdez Brantley   Keyboards
Tim Carmon   Piano
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Belinda Whitney   Violin
Astrid Schween   Cello
Nico Abondolo   Bass
Onree Gill   Organ,fender rhodes
Sara Parkins   Violin
Anne Lehmann   Violin
Gwen Laster   Violin
Beyoncé Knowles   Vocals
Lenesha Randolph   Background Vocals
South Central Chamber Orchestra   Strings
Tavia Ivey   Background Vocals
David Chan   Violin
Tara Watkins   Background Vocals
Tim Riley   Piano,Drums
Ernest Hamilton   Bass,Percussion
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Vince Lionti   Flute,Viola
Alicia Keys   Background Vocals,Background Music
Enrico DiCecco   Violin
Teddy Campbell   Drums
Tom Craskey   Bass
Dave Tozer   Guitar
Trudy Kane   Flute
Steve Tirpak   Flugelhorn
Jerimiah "Jermaine" Paul   Background Vocals,Background Music
Desiree Elsevier   Flute,Viola
John Legend   Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Andre Bowman   Bass
Robert Ozuna   Percussion
Sheléa Frazier   Background Vocals
Aaron Spears   Drums
Arthur "Buddy" Strong   Keyboards
Jon Botbyl   Trombone
Aaron Marisi   Alto Saxophone
Dan Tobin Smith   Cello
Catherine Ro   Violin
Mike Ciro   Guitar
Mariana Green Hill   Violin
Stefan Hoskuldssen   Flute
Tony Miceli   Vibes
Ralph D. Morris   Violin
NY Strings   Strings
Anna Reinersman   Harp
Charles Vail   Strings
Tahirah Whittington   Cello
Yulia Ziskel Deninzon   Violin
Bobby Ozuna   Percussion
Candice Anderson   Background Vocals
Daniel Smith   Cello
Mario de León   Violin

Technical Credits

Marvin Gaye   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Brenda Russell   Composer
Leon Russell   Composer
Luther Vandross   Composer
Bonnie Bramlett   Composer
Danny Duncan   Engineer
Terry Steele   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Tony Black   Engineer
Delaney Bramlett   Composer
Jeff Chestek   Engineer
Ray Chew   String Arrangements
Hal David   Composer
Clive Davis   Producer
Reginald Dozier   Engineer
Bobby Eli   Composer
Chris Gehringer   Mastering
Larry Gold   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Jerry Hey   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Jimmy Jam   Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Terry Lewis   Producer,Audio Production
Arif Mardin   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Manny Marroquin   Engineer
Richard Marx   Composer
Marcus Miller   Composer
Warren "Pete" Moore   Composer
Michael O'Reilly   Engineer
Mark Pastoria   Vocal Engineer,Vocal Recording
Leon Pendarvis   String Arrangements
Paul Riser   String Arrangements
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Jimmy Wright   Producer
Aaron Zigman   Programming
Benjamin F. Wright   Arranger,Composer,String Arrangements,String Conductor,Strings Orchestrator
David Nathan   Liner Notes
Raphael Saadiq   Producer,Audio Production
Suzie Katayama   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Lou Pagani   Producer
Wyclef Jean   Producer
Andrew Dawson   Engineer
Paul Boutin   Engineer
Valdez Brantley   Arranger
Jim Caruana   Vocal Engineer,Vocal Recording
Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis   Producer,Audio Production
Hani   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
James "Big Jim" Wright   Audio Production
Vinnie Barrett   Composer
Ann Mincieli   Engineer
Beyoncé Knowles   Vocal Producer
Daniel Romero   Engineer
Kerry Brothers   Producer,Digital Programming
Alicia Keys   Producer
John Hanes   Engineer,Digital Editing
Jake & the Phatman   Producer
Matt Marrin   Engineer
Dabling Harward   Engineer,Vocal Engineer,Vocal Editing
Dave Tozer   Producer,drum programming,Audio Production
Ryan Lovett   Arranger
Chris LeBeau   Artwork,Production Art
Steve Tirpak   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Glenn Standridge   Engineer
James Tanksley   Digital Editing
J Lack   Producer
Scott Seviour   Artist Development
Johnny "Clean Pants" Tanksley   Engineer
David L. Elliott   Composer
Face & Pagani   Audio Production
Underdogs   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production,Vocal Producer,Instrumentation
Ian Cross   Engineer

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