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SOULMUSIC RECORDS SPOTLIGHT: ESTHER PHILLIPS
A total of six classic albums by Esther Phillips reissued through SoulMusic Records:

YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY BABY/ALL ABOUT ESTHER

The late, great ESTHER PHILLIPS was one of the most distinctive vocalists in contemporary music, so accomplished in R&B, soul, blues and jazz that she defied easy categorization

· After her global success in the mid-`70s with a remake of `What A Diff'rence A Day Makes,' Esther signed a four-album deal with Mercury Records, recording home to her primary musical influences, Dinah Washington

· Her Mercury debut (`You've Come A Long Way Baby') was produced by her then-musical director, Pee Wee Ellis (the famed former James Brown sideman) and featured a dazzling diversity of material, from the blues tune, `You've Been A Good Ole Wagon' to Van Morrison's `Into The Mystic' and a disco remake of The Platters' `My Prayer' ," a previously unreleased 9:07 mix of which is being made available for the first time on the CD!

· Esther's second Mercury LP ("All About Esther") was produced by Wayne Henderson (of The Jazz Crusaders), featured a number of star players and includes a great cover of Odyssey's `Native New Yorker.'

· Notes by Soul Music.com founder David Nathan - who knew Esther well and interviewed her many times - include quotes from producers Ellis and Henderson.

01. LOVE ADDICT
02. YOU’VE BEEN A GOOD OLE WAGON
03. IF I LOVED YOU
04. SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE
05. IN A SOFT AND SUBTLE WAY
06. UNSELFISH LOVE
07. I’VE NEVER BEEN A WOMAN BEFORE
08. INTO THE MYSTIC
09. MY PRAYER (Previously Unreleased Extended Mix)
10. THE MAN AIN’T READY
11. NATIVE NEW YORKER
12. YOU THINK OF HIM (YOU THINK OF HER)
13. PIE IN THE SKY
14. S.O.S.
15. THERE YOU GO AGAIN (THERE SHE GOES AGAIN)/STORMY WEATHER
16. MS.
17. IF I FALL IN LOVE BY MORNING

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HERE'S ESTHER...ARE YOU READY?/GOOD BLACK IS HARD TO CRACK

· A teen star in the `50s (as "Little Esther"), an R&B hitmaker in the `60s ("And I Love Him"), a jazz stylist and disco favourite in the `70s ("What A Diff'rence A Day Makes"), the late ESTHER PHILLIPS was capable of creating a truly diverse legacy of recordings

· Esther signed with Mercury Records in 1977: as Executive Producer, Esther chose star drummer/artist in his own right, Harvey Mason as a producer for her third set ("Here's Esther...Are You Ready?").

· With Mason, Esther put her distinctive vocal stamp on hits of the day (Natalie Cole's "Mr. Melody" and Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom") alongside great original tunes such as "Bedtime Stories," a popular rare groove cut among UK soul music lovers.

· Esther's fourth and final Mercury LP ("Good Black Is Hard To Crack") was produced by renowned jazz saxman Benny Golson (writer of "Killer Joe"): once again, the earthy singer chose a range of great material including Willie Nelson's "Crazy," Loleatta Holloway's "Cry To Me" and "We've Got A Good Thing Going," another popular UK groove track, originally cut by Michael Jackson.

3. I HOPE YOU’LL BE VERY UNHAPPY WITHOUT ME
1. MR. MELODY
10. REACHING OUT FOR LOVE WITH LOVE
11. CRY TO ME
12. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
13. WOMAN ENOUGH
14. YOU CAN’T SEE THUNDER
15. WE’VE GOT A GOOD THING GOING
16. CITY LIGHTS
17. CHANGIN’
2. PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM
4. LOVE MAKES A WOMAN
5. OUR DAY WILL COME
6. BEDTIME STORIES
7. OO OOP OO OOP
8. I’LL CLOSE MY EYES
9. CRAZY
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FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM Expanded Edition

The sessions for from A Whisper To A Scream in December 1971 found her surrounded by stellar players such as Gordon Edwards (bass), Bernard Purdie (drums), Airto Moreira (percussion), Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale (guitar), Richard Tee (keyboards) and labelmate Hank Crawford (on sax on selected tracks). Handpicking the material herself, Esther included some R&B hits of the time The Originals "Baby I'm For Real", Eddie Floyd's "Til My Back Aint Got No Bone" alongside two songs penned by Allen Toussaint, including the stirring title track. The albums most notable cut was her true-to-life version of Gil Scott-Herons Home Is Where The Hatred Is, which she was initially reluctant to record given its direct references to heroin addiction. Originally reissued in 1988 with (four) bonus tracks, this expanded edition has been out of print for several years. Notes by SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan include quotes from a 1973 interview with Esther.

01 Home Is Where The Hatred Is
02 From A Whisper To A Scream
03 To Lay Down Beside You
04 That's All Right With Me
05 'Til My Back Ain't Got No Bone
06 Sweet Touch Of Love
07 Baby, I'm For Real
08 Your Love Is So Doggone Good
09 Scarred Knees
10 How Blue Can You Get (Bonus Track)
11 Brother, Brother (Bonus Track)
12 Don't Run To Him (Bonus Track)
13 A Beautiful Friendship (Bonus Track)

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CAPRICORN PRINCESS Expanded Edition

SOULMUSIC RECORDS IS PROUD TO PRESENT AN EXPANDED EDITION OF ‘CAPRICORN PRINCESS,’ THE 1976 FINAL KUDU ALBUM BY THE LATE, GREAT ESTHER PHILLIPS WITH (2) BONUS TRACKS MAKING THEIR CD DEBUT – A SINGLE EDIT OF ‘ALL THE WAY DOWN’ (FIRST RECORDED BY ESTHER’S LONGTIME FRIEND ETTA JAMES) AND THE RARE 12” SINGLE MIX OF ‘MAGIC’S IN THE AIR’ AND JANIS IAN’S ‘BOY, I REALLY TIED ONE ON’

• A CHILD STAR IN THE ‘50s, AN R&B/SOUL HITMAKER IN THE ‘60s AND A DISCO DIVA IN THE MID-‘70s (THANKS TO HER SIZZLING DISCO VERSION OF THE DINAH WASHINGTON STANDARD ‘WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES’), ESTHER PHILLIPS HAD A LONG AND DISTINGUISHED CAREER AS A RECORDING ARTIST AND POPULAR PERFORMER.

• ESTHER SIGNED WITH JAZZ-ORIENTED KUDU RECORDS IN 1972 AND RECEIVED ACCLAIM FOR HER LABEL DEBUT ‘FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM’ (SMCR-5120) – A 2014 EXPANDED EDITION REISSUED BY SOULMUSIC RECORDS.

• HER 7TH KUDU LP, CAPRICORN PRINCESS (PRODUCED BY LABEL FOUNDER CREED TAYLOR) CONTAINS A NUMBER OF COVERS – SOULFUL READINGS OF THE ‘60s STANDARDS ‘I HAVEN’T GOT ANYTHING BETTER TO DO’ AND ‘A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP’ (HER SECOND RECORDING OF THE SONG) WHILE ESTHER’S BLUESY PERSONALIZED VERSION OF BIG MAYBELLE’S ‘CANDY.’ TOP SESSION MUSICIANS INCLUDING RALPH MACDONALD, THE BRECKER BROTHERS, ERIC GALE, STEVE GADD AND ANTHONY JACKSON PLAYED ON THE LP WHICH REACHED #40 ON THE US R&B CHARTS #23 ON THE JAZZ CHARTS

• THIS EDITION OF CAPRICORN PRINCESS WAS REMASTERED BY JAMES BRAGG AND INCLUDES EXTENSIVE NOTES BY RENOWNED US WRITER A. SCOTT GALLOWAY.

Track listing:
1. Magic's In The Air
2. I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do
3. Boy, I Really Tied One On
4. Candy
5. A Beautiful Friendship
6. (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher & Higher
7. All the Way Down
8. Dream

Bonus Tracks:
9. All the Way Down - US Kudu single edit
10. Magic's In the Air/ Boy, I Really Tied One On - US Kudu 12” single


About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.
  
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