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Esther Phillips

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Esther Phillips. WjBeck, Kudu KU-23SI All rise. the Sorceress returneth. Esther Phillips' WBeck is a masterwork by a satin-lhroated lady who could sing the yellow pages and get-away with it. One doesn't review Esther Phillips, one reports Esther Phillips. A while back. drugs and severe personal problems threatened to snap, short of t'ruition. a career that has spanned two decades. But in recent years she has come back. talent and drive intact. Perhaps even more remarkably. she has survived a venomous assault on her artistic growth by producer (reed Taylor of CTI Records. Taylor. the Simon Legree of the record business, is a man whose debits are consistently trounced by hts credits. He is a man known for measuring art by the wealth of the artist, success by your number of credit cards. Taylor invariably infuses a work with antiseptic slickness. while casting a beady eye on tlie record charts. The end result is usually a montage of Shinola and substance. Stil!, Ms. Phillips comes up smelting, wel!, like a rose. WBeck features recent hits. "One Night Alïair" and "Mister Magie." as well as the hallowed "Wliat a Diffrence A Day Makes." Needless to say, the lady's infectious jazz-blues-r&b touch makes even the ancient sound fresh. WBeck is a tribute to a musical monument who stands aside the likes of Sarah Vaughn. tila Fitzgerald. Nancy Wilson. Carmen McRae, ■ Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Dinah Washington. Try it.