The Essential Etta James

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Etta James has been showing people how it's done for over 50 years now (her first single, "Roll with Me Henry," was tracked in 1955 when she was still a teenager), and her passionate, nuanced singing hasn't diminished one bit in the 21st century. Her earliest sides were blues-inflected R&B and soul numbers, but starting in the early '90s she expanded her material to include the Great American Songbook, tackling with style songs by composers like the Gershwins, Rodgers & Hart, and Cole Porter, and elegant versions of songs by rock artists like John Lennon and Prince, always bringing a weary, gritty grace to the table. This two-disc compilation set features some of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Etta James has been showing people how it's done for over 50 years now (her first single, "Roll with Me Henry," was tracked in 1955 when she was still a teenager), and her passionate, nuanced singing hasn't diminished one bit in the 21st century. Her earliest sides were blues-inflected R&B and soul numbers, but starting in the early '90s she expanded her material to include the Great American Songbook, tackling with style songs by composers like the Gershwins, Rodgers & Hart, and Cole Porter, and elegant versions of songs by rock artists like John Lennon and Prince, always bringing a weary, gritty grace to the table. This two-disc compilation set features some of the best sides she's recorded in the past two decades, including gems like her jazzy take on "Cry Me a River" and a heartbreaking version of "Try a Little Tenderness." But the heart of James' approach to business is the blues, as the wonderful set opener here, "The Blues Is My Business," states clearly, and her renditions collected here of Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" and John Lee Hooker's "Crawlin' King Snake" are clear highlights in a collection filled to the brim with highlights. She's not a diva -- she's the real deal. This summation of her past 20 years as a recording artist shows just how real she still is.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/2010
  • Label: Masterworks
  • UPC: 886977177323
  • Catalog Number: 771773
  • Sales rank: 3,805

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Etta James Primary Artist
Donna McElroy Background Vocals
Eddie Harris Tenor Saxophone, Soloist
Red Holloway Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Cedar Walton Piano, Soloist
Paul Humphrey Drums
Herman Riley Tenor Saxophone, Soloist
Mike Finnigan Hammond B3
Don Potter Acoustic Guitar
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
Josh Sklair Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Soloist, Musical Direction
Eddie Bayers Drums
Barry Beckett Keyboards
George Bohannon Trombone
John Clayton Bass, Soloist
Tony Dumas Bass
Paul Franklin Steel Guitar
Vicki Hampton Background Vocals
Mike Haynes Horn
Yvonne Hodges Background Vocals
Jim Horn Horn
Dann Huff Electric Guitar
Kraig Kilby Trombone
Sam Levine Horn
Chris McDonald Horn
Joe McGlohon Horn
Terry McMillan Percussion
Bobby Murray Guitar, Electric Guitar, Soloist
Steve Nathan Keyboards
Leo Nocentelli Guitar, Soloist
Ralph Penland Percussion, Drums
Tom Poole Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Michael Rhodes Bass
Brent Rowan Electric Guitar
Lee Thornburg Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Valve Trombone
Dennis Wilson Background Vocals
Curtis Young Background Vocals
Jimmy "Z" Zavala Harmonica, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
John "Juke" Logan Harmonica
Ronnie Buttacavoli Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Sametto James Bass, Electric Bass
Dan Huff Electric Guitar
David K. Mathews Piano, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Synthesizer Strings, Hammond B3
Louis Nunley Background Vocals
Peter Michael Escovedo Percussion, Conga
Donto James Percussion, Drums
Donato James Drums
Ross Locke Percussion
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer
John Lee Hooker Composer
Etta James Arranger
Delbert McClinton Composer
Jimmy Reed Composer
George Gershwin Composer
James Brown Composer
Jerry Butler Composer
Alice Cooper Composer
John Fogerty Composer
Mick Jagger Composer
Prince Composer
Otis Redding Composer
Cedar Walton Arranger
Irving Mills Composer
Ray Noble Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Troy Seals Composer
Josh Sklair Arranger, Musical Director, rhythm arrangement
Greg Barnhill Composer
Bernard Besman Composer
Bekka Bramlett Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Eddie DeLange Composer
Gene DePaul Composer
Ervin Drake Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Sammy Fain Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Mack Gordon Composer
Kenny Greenberg Composer
Arthur Hamilton Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Irving Kahal Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Gary Nicholson Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Keith Richards Composer
Eddie Setser Composer
Russell Smith Composer
Lee Thornburg Horn Arrangements
Dick Wagner Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Albert Willemetz Composer
Kevin Bowe Composer
Jackson Braider Liner Notes
Jim Varsos Composer
Richard A. Whiting Composer
Reginald Connelly Composer
Jacques Charles Composer
Dan Fisher Composer
Irene Higginbotham Composer
Channing Pollack Composer
Maurice Yvain Composer
Todd Cherney Composer
Betty Jean Newsome Composer
Charles Daniels Composer
Harry M. Woods Composer
John Greenbaum Composer
James Campbell Composer
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