вторник, 26 марта 2013 г.

Genya Ravan - Goldie Zelkowitz (1974 Janus Records)

Band/ArtistGenya Ravan
Album: Goldie Zelkowitz
Label: Janus Records
Catalog#: JLS 3060
Country: US
Released: 1974
Genre: Pop/Rock, Soul, Classic Rock

Format/Bitrate: MP3/320 kbps
Total Time: 00:33:11

When you hear the great blues singer Genya Ravan totally capture Gregg Allman's "Whipping Post," you realize that his melody needed a vocal that could bring the song way over the bar. Ravan's voice does just that, hits the home run while gliding through the dense production of Gabriel Mekler, the man who produced Janis Joplin's I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama. It's the combination of Mekler's guidance and Ravan's musical instincts that give immense power to this 1974 release titled after Ravan's birth name, Goldie Zelkowitz. The version of the Allman Brothers' classic is a total reinterpretation, but it is only one of ten selections that are arguably the best setting for this pioneer vocalist. "Get It Back" is funky and hip with dance rhythms that are adventurous and futuristic; the song has pull like an undertow, and the production is so polished it will amaze. Mekler was one of the most underrated producers of his day, and the Kozmic Blues album was a masterpiece overshadowed by Cheap Thrills and Pearl. It seems like Mekler had something to prove and, with co-producer Trevor Lawrence, he augments Ravan's vocal prowess, the band aiding and abetting her as she takes "Hold On I'm Coming" and makes it her own. A dazzling recording that sounds like Quicksilver Messenger Service doing Big Mama Thornton's "Ball and Chain" with drums out of Charlie Watts on "Let It Bleed" -- this makeover of the Sam & Dave hit is a monster track. "Whipping Post" was great but this "Hold On I'm Coming" just obliterates everything in its path.
While Ten Wheel Drive experimented with various styles, their former lead singer has the opportunity here to focus and to strut her stuff away from the confines of a big, big rock band, giving listeners a side of Ravan that is only hinted at on Urban Desire, one of her most popular solo albums, which arrived a few years after this. "Letter" is like a subdued "Stay With Me" from the TWD days, while "Breadline" takes the disc even deeper into the blues. "Walkin' Walkin'" is snappy, intimate dance-pop that gives good balance to an album boasting Danny Kortchmar on guitar and Bobby Keyes on horns. "Need Your Lovin'" segues into a mini-medley with "Peeping and Hiding" finding Ravan's voice in complete control, and boy can she play the harmonica. Her catalog remains one of the most unmined vaults of treasures in rock/blues history, and this album needs to be the centerpiece of a boxed-set appreciation of Genya Ravan. It is so overwhelmingly good that, with a push to the blues market, it can find a new audience for this major and underrated talent. The singer's legacy is intact at www.genyaravan.com and Goldie Zelkowitz is an often overlooked chestnut in her impressive catalog, an album that needs to get serious attention from those who understand this art form and who want another album to cherish.
                                                                                                          - Review by Joe Viglione

 • Side One:
A1. My Oh My My Mama 04:08
A2. Whipping Post 04:25
A3. Get It Back 03:10
A4. Hold On I'm Coming 04:22
 • Side Two:
B1. Little By Little 03:33
B2. Letter 04:38
B3. Breadline 03:40
B4. Walkin' 02:36
B5. Need Your Lovin, Peeping & Hiding 02:39

Fred Beckmeier - Bass
Danny Kortchmar, Ken Marco, Steve Beckmeier - Guitar
Mailto Correa - Percussion
Gwen Edwards, Abigale Haness, C. C. Williamson - Backing Vocals
Genya Ravan - Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
Bobby Keys - Saxophone
Trevor Lawrence - Horn, Keyboards
Gabriel Mekler, Larry Nash, William D. "Smitty" Smith - Keyboards
Kenneth "Spider Webb" Rice - Drums
Steve Madaio - Horn

-----  ☆☆☆ ----- 


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