Esther Phillips

Jazz Moods: Hot

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Esther Phillips' volume in Legacy's Jazz Moods series is righteously subtitled as "Hot." The 11 tracks here are taken from her three Kudu recordings in the early to mid-'70s -- From a Whisper to a Scream, What a Diff'rence a Day Makes, and Black-Eyed Blues. Her chart-smashing cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" is here, as is her read of Eddie Floyd's "'Til My Back Ain't Got No Bone." Her funky take of "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" is perhaps the most radical version of the song ever cut, and her reggae-drenched presentation of Bill Withers' "Use Me" is second only to the original. Likewise, her twist on "I Can Stand a Little Rain" adds depth and dimension to the tune, stretching it to the bluesy side of R&B. The late-night blues grind of her take on Ellington's "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" takes a jazz standard and shape-shifts it into a modern-day lounge classic. In other words, this little compilation from a very short period in Phillips' career is solid, provocative, and -- for the money -- indispensable.

blue highlight denotes track pick