Dionne Warwick concluded an eight-year run on Scepter Records with 1970's Very Dionne. The album's wide variety of styles summed up much of what made Warwick's back catalog so universally appealing. In addition to a handful of new Burt Bacharach and Hal David sides, the platter boasts tasteful reworkings of pop music staples. As Bacharach and David were ensconced in their own careers -- together and separately -- Warwick, along with her other arrangers, concocted an interesting mix of classic and familiar contemporary tunes, including a live take of "Make It Easy On Yourself," a cut she initially recorded for her first Scepter long-player, 1963's Presenting Dionne Warwick. Although the singer would subsequently state that "Check Out Time" was one of her least favorite Bacharach/David compositions, she opens Very Dionne with an emotive and slightly angst-filled intonation. The mood is immediately contrasted by the pensive and reflective nature of Marty Paich's score on "Yesterday," which Warwick duly matches by way of her generous and soulful interpretation. Larry Wilcox's treatment of the Jimmy Van Heusen standard "Here Comes That Rainy Day" is a perfect example of the vocalist's significant middle-of-the-road allure. This carries over to the decidedly more modern "Going Out of My Head" and "We've Only Just Begun." One unmitigated zenith is "I Got Love" from the Ossie Davis Broadway production Purlie. Once again, Warwick -- under Paich's direction -- equals if not surpasses Melba Moore's stage presentation. In 2004, an expanded edition of Very Dionne increased the running order by 16 selections, highlighted by a ten-song mini-concert held July 23, 1970, at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, the same show that had yielded "Make It Easy On Yourself" on the original LP.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer
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