Fontella Bass & the Voices of St. Louis / Fontella Bass

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Travellin' Review

by Paula Edelstein

The musical diversity of vocalist Fontella Bass is front and center on Travellin'. Best known for her huge 1965 hit, "Rescue Me," Fontella Bass features a family affair with styles to spare. Brimming with soul, rhythm, blues, and instrumental jazz on ten very special compositions, this CD represents a delightful musical tapestry that features her son Bahnamous Bowie on keyboards, her brother and singer David Peaston singing mightily on the soul ballads "Special Lady" and "Round & Round," and her son-in-law Tracy Mitchell contributing his lead vocals, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar. Bass' deeply rooted gospel style shines through on the title track while the rousing "Walk With Me" and the black gospel-styled gems "It's Alright Now," "In the Garden," and "Thank You Lord" are so reverent that she will bring tears of joy to your eyes. Backed by a versatile rhythm section of Ptah Williams on piano, Jimmy Hinds on electric bass, and Curtis Fondren on drums, this label debut should firmly plant Fontella Bass in the mainstream of gospel-jazz.

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