Esther Phillips

Black-Eyed Blues/Capricorn Princess

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From 1971 through 1976, Esther Phillips released seven albums on Kudu, a subsidiary of Creed Taylor's CTI label. This 2014 release from the Soul Brother label in the U.K. combines the singer's third and seventh Kudu recordings: Black-Eyed Blues (1973) and Capricorn Princess (1976). By the time this was released, both albums had been available in various CD editions; the former was reissued in 2003, while the latter's latest edition appeared on Reel Music in 2010. This puts both albums on one disc. Neither one birthed any charting singles, and nothing burns as hot as Kudu-era highlights like "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" or "Disposable Society," but they both have a handful of riveting performances. Taylor produced both albums. Pee Wee Ellis, Bob James, and David Matthews served as arrangers.

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